How to get repairs outside Warranty Period - Australian Consumer Guarantee

I recently had an experience with a 4 year old TV made by one of the big Korean Manufacturers that was purchased from a major Australian retailer.

4 1/2 years ago I purchased a 55" TV and paid $3500. 2 Months ago the TV screen stopped working and I rang the manufacturer to organise repairs. The manufacturer looked up the details and advised that it was out of warranty and I would be billed for the repairs. I advised that I was not interested in manufacturers warranty but wanted to claim under "Australian Consumer Guarantee". I was then transferred to another "customer care department". After 2 days the 2nd customer care department advised that they would pay for parts and labour to repair the TV. Yee Haa!

Unfortunately, the repairer advised that it was not repairable because parts were not available and they referred me back to the manufacturer. After 2 days the manufacturer advised that they were going to cash settle the matter by refunding the purchase price less a deduction for existing use. The payment proposed was 3/7ths of the purchase price on the basis that the TV was 4 years old and the economic life was expected to be 7 years. Ie the payment proposed was $1500.

I challenged this and lodged a claim in the small claims court against both the manufacturer and the retailer seeking compensation based on an economic life of 10 years not 7 years and including the TV bracket that was now obsolete. Today I received a call from the retailer saying they would refund the full purchase price of $3500. Some points that others may find useful in how I achieved this result (which I am very happy about).

  • In all my dealings I was polite, respectful, unemotional but insistent that I would enforce my rights.
  • I quietly pointed out to the contacts that was an old guy with too much free time on my hands and that I would pursue the matter no matter how long it took. "Even if they won they would lose."
  • When it goes to a court the company will almost certainly pay for lawyers to deal with the matter. The Small Claims is an informal court and legal representation is actually frowned upon. Most importantly legal fees cannot be recovered in the small claims court. The advice from the lawyers to their clients would be along the lines of you are arguing over $700 and our fees that you cannot recover will be at least $6000 each.
  • The fact that the retailer offered a full refund indicates deduction for existing use may not be lawful and they did not want a ruling on this by a court.

The take away points;

  • Respectfully argue your point.
  • Never make threats, actions speak louder than words.
  • Leave emotion and personalities out of it because it makes the problem more difficult to resolve


  • TV made by one of the big Korean manufacturers

    So was it Samsung or LG?

  • +33 votes

    Congratulations on protecting your consumer rights.

  • Well done and thank you for the example on how to do things right.
    Makes me feel like an n00b for buying extended warranty.

    • Selling of extended warranties that do not provide something beyond what is already facilitated by the legislated warranty is against the law, you can go back to the retailer and request a refund for this fraudulent sale.

      • that is not correct

        • can you please explain the details of this?



          It's incorrect as a blanket statement as some extended warranties may provide guarantees like accidental damage to some degree.

        • @Cubist: Just to add, it's basically incorrect in 99% of cases because almost all standard warranties come with services that aren't mandated by law (such as being able to send directly with manufacturer (ACL only allows you to deal with the retailer), free delivery/pick up options, on-site support, accidental cover, etc.

  • Well done, and thanks for sharing! I'm sure others will find this helpful should they face a similar situation.

  • It’s funny cause in the court case with Samsung. The ACCC agreed that the acceptable lifespan of a tv is 7 years.
    I am tipping you dealt with Samsung cause they were the ones who argued the 7 year part.

    Lucky you didn’t go to court cause they would of submitted the info from the accc vs Samsung case that indicated an understanding that 7 years is acceptable.

    Also for the record deductions for years of use is very lawful a quick call to the accc will verify that fact.

  • Hope you also made them pay for the court lodgement costs and company search fee

  • May I ask why your bracket was obsolete? Was it one of those fancy super-close-to-the-wall ones?

    • I'm curious too as I thought TV's had to connect to brackets which are all VESA standard.

    • If you thought the tv market was fast moving you should see the wall bracket market. Brackets today are completely unrecognizable from brackets of a few years ago. These aren't your granddad's wall brackets.

  • +67 votes

    3/7ths of the purchase price on the basis that the TV was 4 years old and the economic life was expected to be 7 years

    This was pretty fair to start with.

    I'm all for Consumer rights, but you took it too far in getting a full refund.

    • And he won!

      • +54 votes

        If you mean won, as to shut him up and to save them money from a legal battle that shouldn't have happened, then yes.

        You do know, that this 'win' is why we have higher prices in Australia compared to overseas. These Consumer rights are factored in, and the more people that abuse it, the higher our prices go.

        • -48 votes

          Feel free to go and live somewhere else.

          We're not gonna stop or miss you.

        • @Drew22: slow clap for you Drew22, feel like a big boy now?… I bet you whine about the Australian tax too compared to overseas pricing.

          As I said, the first offer by the company was fair. The OP should have stopped there.

          BTW Should I move to Kuala Lumpur instead? ;)

        • -7 votes


          Yeah KL is nice, but most electronics are more expensive than they are in Australia.
          Bose QC35s are double the retail price, and never on special like they are in Oz.

          It is not illegal for the OP to ask for more.
          Don't ask, don't get.

        • +14 votes

          @Drew22: The OP didn't ask, they demanded, big difference.

          lodged a claim in the small claims court

          Lodging a case in court isn't 'asking', its demanding with a big stamp of the foot. The OEM offered very fair terms up front, the OP refused them, and then took it too far.

          In all my dealings I was polite, respectful, unemotional but insistent that I would enforce my rights.

          OP Lodging a claim in small claims court would say otherwise and I don't agree it was their 'right' to seek a FULL refund on a failed product after 4 1/2 years of use.

          In the future, the OEM might just not make fair offers in the first place if people continue to seek full refunds after nearly 5 years of using the product. Even as the OP said, it was at least 50% of the way through its life, so getting

          Resulting in people having to take every little consumer guarantee issue to small claims.

        • @JimmyF: OP didn't ask for a full refund, they asked for a refund based on an expected life of 10 years and the end result was that the company gave them a full refund.

        • -1 vote

          Abused it? The OP paid a fair price for their TV/Investment and they were prepared to settle for a repair. If the manufacturer is incapable of providing good build quality or spare parts then that's their problem.

          If I was the manufacturer I would have just gifted you a new current better specification TV and wrote it off. Cash seems like the more expensive option for them.

        • @JimmyF: just to jump in and add, the choice of repair or refund is on customer and not the manufacturer. The real fault here imo is that they couldn't repair/replace the TV.

          And also we have to stop blaming ACCC for prices in Australia, other countries have similar if not better laws for consumers (lemon laws in USA).
          THE REAL reason we pay more for thing is:
          1. We have accepted to pay more (they charge what they can)
          2. Population density is very low in Australia while the wages are high, this results in more cost in bringing the items to you for sale.

        • @OpayuOnam:

          And also we have to stop blaming ACCC for prices in Australia, other countries have similar if not better laws for consumers (lemon laws in USA).

          Ummm no the USA laws are nothing like ours. 3 months warranty is common over there, they have no ACCC body to complain to and the lemon laws only apply to cars (most of which are made in the USA, hence they are lemons).

          Hint, go look at xbox accessories in the USA they only come with 90 days warranty.

          Anyhow, back to OZ, if the OEM has to offer a full refund after 4.5 years of use like they did to the OP, who do you think pays for this refund? Hint its not the OEM, its the OTHER customers of that TV via higher prices.

          Other reasons we pay more for products is we don't use slave labour like the USA does everyone in Australia gets fair wages, unlike the USA slave min wage of $7USD/hr aka $9.50AUD/hr. We also pay super, we also have higher taxes and in return things like healthcare.

          So you call it high wages in Australia, I call it fair wages. I'm happier to pay a higher price knowning everyone is paid well and vs the USA slave economy.

          and yes we do have higher transport costs, but thats what happens in a big country.

          I mean don't get my wrong, I buy things overseas as its way cheaper than here, but I do have an understanding of WHY things are cheaper overseas than here.

          Basically that item I'm buying never used to have GST on it (thats changing now), basically arrived without warranty etc and no consumer protection etc.

          For a item that might be $300 landed from overseas, vs $500-600 here locally, its worth the risk, but I'm aware I'm taking on that risk.

    • I honestly would've been happy with that 3/7 settlement too. It's a fair settlement after 4 years of use, so OP was lucky getting a deal that's better than "fair".

      • +20 votes

        Agreed. The more people abuse it, the higher our prices go to cover the costs. Its just simple business maths.

        • -11 votes

          No. If more people "abuse" it, the companies will just push back against it.

        • @Drew22: Doesn't work like that. There is a cost to 'fight' it, so most companies just fold when the OP lodges a small claims case as its 'cheaper' to pay the OP than fight it and win. In return, they put that costs on future sales prices or as people here like to claim, the 'australian tax'.

        • @Drew22: "Push back"? How? And you think any way of "pushing back" is going to be free?

        • -5 votes


          And what, refunds are free too now?

        • @HighAndDry: The 'push back' will be they will just stop offering 'fair' offers in the first place, forcing people to take them to court like the OP did just to get a 'fair' repair on an item.

          I mean why offer a fair offer if people are going to take them to court anyhow.

        • @JimmyF: that's purely logical, but seems like one of those physics lab experiments conducted in a vacuum and ignoring gravity.

          If too many people start lodging small claims disputes and the companies just fold, everyone would do it. To avoid this, companies would start fighting back to save more money in the long term.

        • @idonotknowwhy: Most companies will fold when a claim is lodged for small amounts.

          In this case, they offered $1500, and the OP wanted the full price back, being $3500. So it was a $2k difference.

          The fact is, for these large companies to engage the lawyers to deal with this issue, will cost them way more than either of these two figures combined, the 'cheapest' path is to fold if it costs $5-10k in lawyer fees just to show up in court.

          Plus if they don't win, they're up for legal fees and the cost of the TV anyhow.

          Many years ago I worked for a company and was sitting near the complaints department who would pay out just about any complaint up to a certain figure without asking, as the client could take it to a gov complaints department for free if not happy with the internal outcome, and that cost the company $5k.

          So it was simple maths. is the asking $2k refund less than $5k, regardless if they are right or wrong.

          If too many people start lodging small claims disputes and the companies just fold, everyone would do it. To avoid this, companies would start fighting back to save more money in the long term.

          Companies offer settlements like the OPs $1500 to save going and fighting as above, it costs them more money.

          But the company might have a change of policy and may stop being 'nice', by offering crappy settlements which then forces all customers to take them to court to get the outcome. This way it filters out the lazy people and saves them money.

          No need to show up in court, just like the OP didn't. He just lodged it, and they folded to save money.

        • @JimmyF: he wanted 6/10ths back based on 10yr life. Manufacturer said “fine just have the entire cost back” to end it.

        • @MetalPhreak: there was no claim of the 6/10th in the first post.

          So 6/10 would be $2100 vs the $1500 they offered for a near 5 year old TV (or as the OP is claiming based on the refund, nearly 6 yo).

        • @JimmyF:

          The payment proposed was 3/7ths of the purchase price on the basis that the TV was 4 years old and the economic life was expected to be 7 years. Ie the payment proposed was $1500.

          I challenged this and lodged a claim in the small claims court against both the manufacturer and the retailer seeking compensation based on an economic life of 10 years not 7 years and including the TV bracket that was now obsolete.

          The advice from the lawyers to their clients would be along the lines of you are arguing over $700 and our fees that you cannot recover will be at least $6000 each.

          TV was 4 years old, OP asked for it to be refunded based on a life time of 10 years, so was asking for 6/10ths back as MetalPhreak suggested. As you can see the OP also figured out it's just an addition 700 that they were asking for.

          Your other posts on the issue seem to have been based on your misreading of the OP; now that you (hopefully) understand it better, does that change you stance?

        • Theres also lots of people that dont know their rights and shrug their shoulders when shit breaks after 13 months and buy something new again. Hardly going to impact costs for everyone else.

        • @truemana: The keyword you missed was MORE So yes it will impact costs if MORE people do it and then abuse it like the OP did.

        • @JimmyF: What you say about cost is correct, but 'Abuse' is a bit exaggerated because OP only fight for what the ACL supposed to protect. OP only ask for partial refund based on 10 years expectation (60% rather than 43%, IMO is still reasonable) and the retailer just couldn't be bothered and gave full refund.
          That's the end, nothing was abused.

        • It's not 'abuse' to get a refund or replacement for you lemon TV that stopped working, it is the law.

        • @trapper: It is to get a FULL refund after 4.5 years of using the TV!

        • -1 vote

          @JimmyF: OP didn't ask for a full refund, the company just folded and decided to give it. Still confused as to why you have such a strong disagreement over a request for a 6/10 refund vs a 3/7 refund.

        • @ely:

          6/10 refund

          Things that hadn't been in the OP…

        • -1 vote

          @JimmyF: I can see that your reading comprehension is poor, but I broke it in to little bits for you in my comment just up above.

          TL;DR yeah, it was in the OP, you just misunderstood, got on your high horse, and don't have the decency to admit that you got it wrong.

        • @ely:

          have such a strong disagreement over a request for a 6/10 refund

          Things that didn't happen. OP received 10/10 refund. They could have always said no and refused a FULL refund and only accepted what they thought was FAIR.

          But above, the company 'folded' and gave a full refund to shut the OP up and make them go away, now those costs are passed onto other TV buyers. Money just doesn't magically appear.

        • @JimmyF:

          It is to get a FULL refund after 4.5 years of using the TV!

          Actually that is the law. They shouldn't sell flaky junk if they don't want to deal with refund/replace a few years down the track.

        • -1 vote

          @JimmyF: reading comprehension still poor; a request for 6/10 was exactly what happened.

        • @JimmyF:

          It's not if you take the other perspective.

          If it's broken and faulty and not up to standard, it means full refund.

          And since it didn't even last 7 years, then it's faulty.

          Remember, the use of the goods doesn't play here. It's not 2nd hand reselling where it does matter.

    • Yeah I'm with you.

      Settlement offer was fair, and allowed for the purchase of a new and better tv given how the technology has improved.

      Still, well done for arguing the case - but obviously got more than what was fair.

    • This was my thought. Great that he won but he was essentially offered $1500 to replace the TV, which could easily be done for a 55inch today for that price. To most people, thats enough and not worth the effort. Squeaky wheel gets the grease though so good on him.

    • While a partial refund is probably 'fair' in the contexts of a TV (because he would be able to buy a new TV with that money that had the same features/quality as the one he originally paid $3500 for 4 years ago), I don't think that's a fair precedent to set for retail overall, because most things don't change in price the way TVs do. A lot of items will be replaced by newer models or styles over time, but will fundamentally do the same thing and cost the same price. If you bought a pair of shoes and they fell apart after a few months, receiving a partial refund isn't particularly fair, as the price of shoes hasn't changed in that time, and excluding any sales/clearances, you'd have to spend roughly the same amount as you originally did to replace them, leaving you out of pocket.

    • Hopefully retailers will stop selling shoddy sub-standard goods here once the've been burnt a few times.

    • It's not about fair in this case. If a 3.5k tv doesn't even last 7 years then it is faulty and if it is faulty then it needs to be refunded the full price.

      7 years is just a reasonable time accepted by the law, some people would expect 15 years.

  • Good work on getting the ACL. When our Samsung TV carked it (power supply) after warranty I ended up having to cave and pay as the family were pressuring me to get the TV fixed. Have two TV's now so watch out Samsung…

  • jhmtaylor, I have saved this page as it is a great story and I wish I had used it one week ago when my washing machine broke down in 4 years… but these businesses do tend to have lots of ways to make people lose interest in chasing their rights, which is I guess also a good reason a particxular Harvey Norman franchise was fined… they told the customer the wrong info when customer tried to claim warranty.

  • $1500 was a very reasonable offer for a refund. Just because some stores and manufacturers have bullied there customers in the past doesn’t make it okay to bully them.

    I’m going to sue you until you lose more money whether you win or not is an extremely unfair way to approach any situation.

  • Congratulations on your outcome. Some may consider that you were over compensated but the way I look at it is that if you pay 3.5k for a tv it should last more than 4yrs unlike say a $500 set.

    My experience 4 yrs ago with Panasonic and Harvey Norman was much less successful. The 22 mth old TV developed lines on the screen after 220hrs of use and I had to pay for it to be assessed. The repairer claimed that the screen needed to be replaced and would cost 4 time the price of the tv.
    Harvey Norman refused to be involved virtually laughing at ACL and fobbed me off to Panasonic who were not much more helpful. Initially they kindly offered to sell me a new set for $600 which was retailing for $720 at that time!!
    I refused their kind offer and they returned with an offer of $400 for a new set which I took.
    To add to the pain, Panasonic dragged their feet as much as they could in refunding the assessment fee.
    I suppose I could have taken them to court over it, but like many I did not want the hassle as the outcome is not guaranteed and you can get stuck with costs.
    Our consumer laws are pathetic.

    • Panasonic have the worst track record with issue resolution I have ever experienced. We have a ban on Panasonic products in this household after multiple instances of Panasonic selling unreliable products and then refusing to rectify the issue or demanding exorbitant payments for simple fixes that should have been covered under warranty and ACL! Panasonic were both misleading and obstructive and actively unhelpful - all designed to turn away the consumer in disgust, rather than provide a remedy.

      I have not had much luck with Samsung in the past. I think that their lack of competence is probably the main factor there. Untrained support staff trying to follow the script over and over, so that they can "help" you.

      I had issues with an LG TV about a year ago and was expecting the worst. I was pleasantly surprised that they organised a prompt and free in house repair. They said TV was out of warranty, I said ACL, they asked for contact details to forward to their service agent. Problem solved, TV fixed two days later.

  • Well played, a lesson to anyone dealing with a vendor/manufacturer.

  • This is an amazing outcome and frankly way better than you deserved but well done you played the game well.

    I had a similar situation with a samsung ssd with a warranty of 3years failing after 3.5 years. They have a special person dealing with all ssd claims. After a few emails back and forth about my "consumer rights" she simply stopped responding. Her email signature only had the call centre number and when calling through to the off shore call centre they couldn't seem to find her number in Australia.

    I couldn't last any longer without an ssd and so bought another one - embarrassed to say another samsung, because they really are the best!

    I should lodge in the small claims court now just for fun.

  • Thanks for an intelligently written, really useful article. You came out of it on top but it was well deserved for the time, effort and inconvenience. At the end of the day, they sold you a lemon and you can't buy the same package for a proportion of what you shelled out so it's only right you got a full refund to buy the same, or similar again. I'll certainly keep a copy of your article should I ever need to do the same.

  • If we use seven years and $3500 yardstick, then over a ten year period the consumer would be expected to pay $4550 on TV's. That would effectively mean that over an average consumers lifetime of say fifty years, give or take (where a consumer is able to own a TV), that a consumer in OP's circumstances are expected to pay $22,750 on TV's. I'm not sure if that's a reasonable expectation. What do people think?

    • Depends on the size model and features of the TV. It's basically $500 per year, not including inflation and also technological progress - why the hell are you extrapolating to fifty years to get a ridiculous looking number?

      • You’ve raised a good point, so put another way, would people be happy to replace a $455, every year? Or, should it last longer? I don’t have the answers, I’m just curious to what folks are willing to pay in line with their expectations.

  • The above raises a few points that need expanding upon.

    The retailer was HN. I have been a regular customer over the past 5 years and that may have carried some weight. I bought the new TV from HN (same brand). They queried me why and I advised sometimes these things just happen and I don't carry grudges, but I will enforce my rights.

    I felt that an economic life of 7 years was unreasonable and that 10 years was the proper period. My claim was for 6/10ths of the purchase price. I would have been satisfied with the TV being repaired. The fact that the manufacturer decided not to support their product by stocking spare parts made the situation worse for them but they have no one to blame but themselves.

    The bracket was obsolete because it did not work with the new thin TVs.

    The fact that HN decided on a full refund leads me to believe they had some clawback arrangement with did not extend to partial losses. They did not reimburse me for the bracket or the filing fee, but I decided not to pursue it so it became a win/win.

    • I mean, even the ACCC argued that a TV has an economic life of 7 years. Looks like you were greedy but got lucky. Good for you but I don't blindly champion everything that works out for the consumer, only what I think is fair. They settled because it's a pain in the ass to be in court for a matter of a few thousand dollars, not because they thought you were right.

      • The ACCC intentionally did not define an economic life span other than to say the price paid for an item is relevant in determining economic life. My assertion of 10 years was derived from the ATO who have determined the economic life of TVs to be 10 years.

        • And what does the ATO have to do with Australian Consumer Law?

          In any case - you got the use of a 55" top of the line TV for 4.5 years for free. Do you think that's a "fair" outcome?

        • @HighAndDry:
          Extremely fair when HN is involved.
          Get back as much as you can from them.

        • @HighAndDry: In regard to the ATO they have the largest database of assets and their economic life in the country. They have no vested interest in the outcome. That is why it carries significant weight in pleading a case.
          In regard to fair;
          + When I rang the manufacturer enquiring about repairs and was fobbed off with the remark " Outside warranty period". Was that fair? Hint the high Court ruled no on these actions and LG are now waiting on the verdict for the fine.
          + When a manufacturer misleads customers about their entitlement.Is that fair?
          + When a manufacturer doesn't stock parts as required by law, and saves millions of dollars in the process. Is that fair?
          + When the manufacturer gave me no options that were required by law, was that fair?
          + When the manufacturer denies parts of the claim that I was entitled to by law, was that fair?
          + When it took over 10 hours of my time to get a result, was that fair?
          + Every year thousands of customers are short changed by manufacturers denying claims that they are entitled to, was that fair? Obviously not which is why so many manufacturers are now being prosecuted and fined.
          In regard to whether I think it is fair, given all that transpired, I do not think the settlement is unreasonable either way.

        • @jhmtaylor: don't listen to him, he's always confusing himself with HighAndMighty!

  • How does Australian consumer guarantee work if its been 4 years since purchase? I thought its day for 2 years

    • Yes.. Thats my understanding as well.. If it is 4 years I can get two phones repaired :)

      • It depends on what phone it is. It’s its apple, probably. If it’s some el cheapo phone, probably not. The law does not state the time explicitly, but rather the product should work in reasonable time.

    • The ACL does not state two or four years. I think it may be minimum two years in EU’s case but not in Australia. The ACL states that a product must be durable for a reasonable time. That is subject to interpretation. For instance a $3000 tv should outlast a $300 tv.

  • Thanks for posting this OP. Great work.
    I am sure many consumers like me don't want the hastle and I am kicking myself for paying around $400 for additional 4 year warranty on my 75" TV.

    Can you advise if retailer refunded your money or manufacturer?

    • The manufacturer wanted to play hard ball. HN offered the settlement and I understand they told the manufacturer to pull their head in.
      One thing I forgot to mention is that the manufacturer uses a Filipino call centre. In my experience that always makes it difficult to resolve problems because of issues with cultural differences, lack of training in Australian consumer law and insufficient authority to make decisions.

      • hat off to you sir, salute. btw are you a lawyer?

      • Is there any reason that you didn't just deal with the retailer directly? If you did I am not reading it at all from your story.

        In my experience as both someone who in the past has worked in retail and also for a manufacturer that sells products to retailers in consumer electronics, any customer that came to me in the latter work was always politely recommended to speak to the retailer as the options they have there are better than if they were to come direct to the manufacturer. In your case (and my understanding of consumer law), the manufacturer did the right thing by offering you such a deal in the first place. Any time we had a customer come to us directly as a manufacturer that were playing hard ball with us after providing more than what was required such as multiple replacements of products and other remedies, they would go to consumer affairs and try to strongarm us into an unreasonable position. Whenever we were called by the ACCC, full reports were given of the overwhelming support offered and provided to the customer and that was the end of it - the ACCC would suggest to the customer to speak with the retailer.

        "Approaching the manufacturer directly:
        Consumers are entitled to approach manufacturers directly for a remedy. Consumers may take action against manufacturers to recover costs, which include an amount for reduction in the product’s value and in some cases compensation for damages or loss."

        The contract of sale is between you and the retailer, the manufacturer did not have your money directly. It would have been a better option to go to the retailer in the first place for a remedy and let them deal with the manufacturer if they had to. For the benefit of others reading this, "The seller also must not refuse to deal with a customer about the returned good and tell them to deal with the manufacturer instead."

        It is great that you were able to get a solution that was sound and to your liking but others should not expect the same outcome. Perhaps it would be best to buy a lottery ticket now with the money that was refunded to you since your luck is what it is.

        • I thought (wrongly) that the manufacturer would be in a better position to act decisively compared to a retail franchisee. If I knew they used a Filipino call centre at the start.
          It was only resolved when HN escalated it to head office. I believe that my regular patronage of HN may have had a small bearing on the outcome.

      • Agree, had several experiences with getting screwed over by Grays Online & their Filipino call centre was useless, so I just went to Consumer Affairs (Toothless Tiger) & a monumental waste of time! Care to take on a similar case since you have so much spare time now? 🤔