Using service providers

Service providers are required to carry out their services with due care and skill under the Australian Consumer Law.

Find out more about consumer guarantees under Australian law.

This means they must:

  • use an acceptable level of skill and technical knowledge when providing the services
  • take all necessary care to avoid loss or damage when providing the services.

Services provided by professionals such as architects and engineers may be subject to different requirements.

Examples of service industries

Examples of service industries are:

  • gardeners
  • personal trainers
  • travel agents
  • furniture removalists
  • hairdressers
  • computer repairers
  • pest control operators
  • carpenters
  • drycleaners
  • cake makers.

Your responsibility as a consumer

Consumers have responsibilities too. You must do all of the following:

  • give clear and precise instructions about what work is needed
  • put your instructions in writing
  • be reasonable in your expectations when requesting particular work or materials
  • consider getting a quote and make sure any amendments are written down. 

Some service providers try to limit their responsibility by using signs or phrases such as:

  • no responsibility for loss or damage
  • goods left for repair at your own risk
  • all care but no responsibility.

These are misleading. Service providers cannot limit their liability under the Australian Consumer Law.

Problems with a service provider

You must be compensated for repairs or services not carried out with due care and skill. 

This applies to all service providers including repair shops, service centres and recreation centres.

NT Consumer Affairs can help with disputes when dealing with service providers.

Find out more about what to do when you have a dispute with a business.

For more advice contact NT Consumer Affairs.

Last updated: 11 June 2015

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