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VIC Australian Consumer Law - Within Our Rights to Demand Full Refund?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Michael Wagner, 22 April 2016.

  1. Michael Wagner

    21 April 2016
    Likes Received:
    We had a Glazier replace 3 Double Glazed windows in our Conservatory roof. The job was botched and had to be re-done, and the quoted $3,250 paid in full immediately. We then noticed 3 further Windows which cracked within 12 hours of the job, one of which was pointed out to us at the time of the install by the glazier.

    The glazier refused to acknowledge the fault but offered to discount the replacement windows. We accepted and paid a 50% deposit. The Glazier is now refusing to do the job because of the danger of breaking more panes and has offered only a partial refund of the deposit.

    We believe we should be compensated for the damaged windows quoted at $3,500, and of course demand the full refund of the deposit of $1,750 a total claim of $5,250

    Our question is - are we within our rights under Australian Consumer Law to make this demand?
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Guest

    Hi Michael,

    You would likely have rights under Australia Consumer Law. Business that supply you with a service must guarantee that that service will be:
    • provided with due care and skill
    • fit for any specified purpose; and
    • provided within a reasonable time.
    If one of those guaratnees is not met, you are entitled to a remedy – for example, a refund, a further service to rectify the problem and in some circumstances compensation for consequential loss. The service provider must provide you with an appropriate remedy.

    If the problem is minor and can be fixed, the service provider can decide how to fix the problem and you cannot demand and require a refund. However if the repairs take too long you may be able to get another tradesman in to fix the problem and require the old tradesman to pay reasonable costs.

    If the problem is major or cannot be fixed, you can choose to terminate the contract for services and obtain a full refund, or get compensation for the difference between the value of the services provided compared to the price paid.
    A service is considered to have a major problem if it is a problem that would have stopped you from purchasing it had you known about it, or it is unfit for its purpose, or causes an unsafe situation.

    You can recover compensation for damages and losses that you have incurred and that would be expected as a result of the tradesman's failure to meet a guarantee. You wouldn't be able to recover compensation however if the fault was due to something outside the Glazier's control, such as the windows being particularly weak or something.

    I would write a letter of demand to the glazier setting out your rights under the Australian Consumer Law and stating that based on those rights you are formally demanding that he refund the paid deposit in full and either completely refund the windows that are faulty or come and fix them within 14 days, failing which you will be contacting the Dept of Fair Trading and /or commencing legal proceedings. That usually puts a bomb under things.

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