Whitegoods and electronics

Products such as refrigerators, washing machines, clothes dryers, dishwashers, stoves, microwave ovens and range hoods are whitegoods. Electronics include computers, laptops, printers, cameras, audio-visual equipment, gaming consoles and mobile phones.

This page has information about:

Your consumer rights

As a consumer you have rights under Australian Consumer Law.

In fact, since 1 January 2011, most products and services bought in Australia come with automatic consumer guarantees that the product or service you purchased will work and do what you asked for. This includes whitegoods and electronics.

Did you know? New and second-hand products are covered by the consumer guarantees.

Acceptable quality

Electronic goods and whitegoods purchased in Australia must be of ‘acceptable quality’ when you buy them. That means:

  • fit for purpose (do all the things someone would normally expect them to do)
  • look acceptable
  • free from defects
  • safe
  • durable.

Products should also:

  • match any demonstration model or sample you asked for
  • have spare parts and repair facilities available for a reasonable time after purchase unless you were told otherwise.

Under the law, retailers must provide these automatic guarantees regardless of any other warranties they give or sell you.

If a business fails to deliver any of these guarantees, you have the right to a repair, replacement or refund and/or compensation for damages and loss (if applicable).

Proof of purchase and product documentation

You have the right to receive proof of purchase (like an invoice, cash register receipt, handwritten receipt or lay-by agreement).

When you purchase something retailers should also provide relevant product documentation including manufacturer's instructions and warranty details. You should keep this documentation and read it carefully as it will help when you request a repair, replacement or refund.

If the product has a warranty, it will give you some extra protection against manufacturing faults. Warranties generally have terms and conditions attached - it’s your responsibility to be aware of these.

Advertising

Advertising can be a powerful means of persuasion, so it’s important it is truthful, accurate and easy to understand. Australian Consumer Law protects consumers from deceptive advertising claims and conduct.

Businesses are not allowed to make false or misleading representations about their products or services. This includes all advertising for electronics and whitegoods (including repairs and servicing) purchased in NSW. Any statement regarding qualifications or experience should be supported and if licensed, the licence number should be printed on any advertising.

Learn more about advertising standards.

Repair, replacement or refund

The goods you purchase may break or need repair. You are entitled to a repair, replacement or refund when the product you purchased does not meet one or more of the consumer guarantees.

Learn more about repairs, replacements and refunds.

"Businesses do not have to give you a refund if you simply change your mind about a product. This includes if you no longer like the item or found it cheaper somewhere else."

You may be required to pay for postage, repairs, labour, parts and other miscellaneous costs. Discuss these costs with the repairer before entering into a transaction.

When a repairer services your whitegoods, the goods don’t have to leave your premises to be repaired. You should be wary of repairers insisting the goods need to leave your premises and if possible, obtain a second opinion.

Product safety and recalls

Businesses have a legal obligation to make sure that goods supplied are safe and free from defects that could cause injury.

If a product is found to be hazardous, non-compliant with a mandatory standard, or subject to a ban, the business must recall it and offer affected consumers a remedy in the form of a repair, replacement or refund.

Recalls are usually initiated voluntarily by the business, but they may also be administered by the Commonwealth or a state or territory minister responsible for competition and consumer policy.

Refer to product and service safety for more information on product recalls.

Have a problem?

  1. Contact the business in the first instance and explain the problem. We have tips and sample letters to help you take the first step.
  2. If you’re unable to resolve the matter with the business, you can contact us for advice on 13 32 20, or make a complaint online.

Be a savvy consumer

Repair estimates, fees and charges

If you need your electronics or whitegoods repaired outside the warranty period, it pays to do your research beforehand.

There is no price control for goods or services in NSW. Consumers should clarify what the quoted price includes (for example, service call, quote, parts and labour). When a free service call is advertised, it will normally cover a technician coming to your home, examining the appliance and diagnosing the problem.

An estimate is the projected cost of a repair. A quote usually includes a complete diagnosis of the problem and details labour, parts and miscellaneous costs. A fee is normally charged for a quote because of the nature of the work involved.

Further information

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Send a general enquiry.

Prev Bag check guidelines
Next Free range eggs