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ACCC Updates Consumer Guarantees Laws

October 22, 2020

RECENTLY WE WERE APPROACHED by the ACCC who alerted us to the issue of Consumer Guarantees especially as they related to refunds specifically for services.

As you may know, APAN has over 48 regulatory compliance documents including our Refund Policy which relates to the return of products.  However, we were told that we need to include a section for “refunds for services”.  Additionally, the Consumer Guarantees clause needed also be included in the Cosmetic Tattooing as well as the other Consent Forms such as Laser and IPL Consent Form and the Skin Needling Consent Form.  All these have been updated and are now available from APAN for you to access.  

What are Consumer Guarantees?

Under the Australian Consumer Law, when you buy products and services, they come with automatic guarantees that they will work and do what you asked for. If you buy something that isn’t right, you have consumer rights.

The Consumer Guarantee law aim at protecting the consumer and must be mentioned in all your documents, for example:

Products must be of acceptable quality, that is:

  • safe, lasting, with no faults
  • look acceptable
  • do all the things someone would normally expect them to do.

Acceptable quality takes into account what would normally be expected for the type of product and cost.

Products must:

  • match descriptions made by the salesperson, on packaging and labels, and in promotions or advertising
  • match any demonstration model or sample you asked for
  • be fit for the purpose the business told you it would be fit for and for any purpose that you made known to the business before purchasing
  • come with full title and ownership
  • not carry any hidden debts or extra charges
  • come with undisturbed possession, so no one has a right to take the goods away or prevent you from using them
  • meet any extra promises made about performance, condition and quality, such as life time guarantees and money back offers
  • have spare parts and repair facilities available for a reasonable time after purchase unless you were told otherwise.

Services must:

  • be provided with acceptable care and skill or technical knowledge and taking all necessary steps to avoid damage
  • be fit for the purpose or give the results that you and the business had agreed to
  • be delivered within a reasonable time when there is no agreed end date.

Consumer guarantees on products and services also apply to:

  • bundled products and services
  • gifts with proof of purchase
  • sale items
  • online products and services bought from Australian businesses
  • second-hand products from businesses, taking into account age and condition.

In terms of a treatment, if the client believes that the outcome of the treatment was not to the standard they were told, they will have a right to request a refund based on their interpretation that what was delivered was lacking in care and skill.  When questioning the interpretation of these terms we were told that they related to the appropriate qualification of the practitioner and the appropriate training.  It is therefore advisable that for services you provide that you display 

  • Proof of qualifications
  • Proof of registration
  • Proof on on-going professional development

If your consent documents, cancellation policy and refund policies need updating, please contact APAN.  It pays to be compliant.  Ph: 07 5593 0360,

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