A warranty is a promise that the goods sold or the services provided to you are of a certain quality and will do the job they are supposed to do. 

Find out more about consumer guarantees under Australian Law.

There are two types of warranties:

  • an implied or statutory warranty
  • a voluntary or express warranty.

If you have a problem with goods you have recently bought, you should go back to where you bought them and ask them to fix the problem.

Find out more about returns and refunds on goods.

Implied or statutory warranty

You are entitled to a statutory or implied warranty when you buy goods or pay for services from a registered Australian business.

Implied warranties are provided by the law.

They are separate from, and in addition to, any voluntary warranty provided by the seller or manufacturer.

Implied warranties give you the right to all of the following:

  • clear title to the goods
  • goods that match the description provided
  • goods that are of merchantable quality -  they must meet the basic level of quality and performance that you would expect from their price and description
  • goods that are fit for the purpose that you made known to the supplier
  • services that are carried out with due skill and care.

Some items come with a warranty, such as refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dryers, computers, watches, televisions and MP3 players.

Others do not come with a warranty, such as clothing. However, if the stitching gives way on a clothing item you have just bought, you are still entitled under the law to your consumer rights, such as a refund, replacement or repair.

Voluntary or express warranty

You may also be protected by a voluntary warranty.

Voluntary or express warranties are offered by sellers and manufacturers.

Some are given unconditionally while others may be subject to time limits or conditions such as 'regular servicing'.

Sellers and manufacturers must stand by their warranties.

Sellers must not refer you to deal directly with the manufacturer.

When a warranty does not apply

You may not be entitled to make a claim under a warranty if you have:

  • misused the goods
  • or had them for a long time.

You may only be offered a partial refund.

If you buy goods second-hand, you can't expect them to be as good as new.

You can't expect inferior quality goods sold cheaply to last as long without faults as better quality goods.

Extended car warranties

Extended warranties can be bought from a licensed motor vehicle dealer when you buy a car. These warranties extend the period of cover beyond any statutory warranty that applies.

Read the policy carefully, as many of these warranties are only valid if you observe strict servicing conditions and generally only cover specific items.

Check out exactly what is covered and under what circumstances claims will not be accepted.

Audio visual equipment

Some brands are not able to be serviced in the Northern Territory (NT) and have to be sent interstate for repairs.

Some parts are not available in Australia and have to be sourced from overseas. It can take months for equipment to be repaired.

Sending your goods back

If you buy interstate or overseas, you may find you have to send the item back at your own expense under a warranty claim.

In most cases, the local dealer can't be expected to handle your warranty and deal with the manufacturer if you didn't buy from them.

If you have problems with goods you have bought interstate contact NT Consumer Affairs. They can put you in touch with a fair trading officer from that state.

For more advice contact NT Consumer Affairs.

Last updated: 03 July 2015

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