I Stood up and Asserted My Rights - ACL

Some of you may recall the post 1 year ago here https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/545594
To summarise: I bought a $1,115 powered JBL speaker. The speaker failed after 3.5 years. I paid for the assessment and requested JBL to repair under ACL. They refused.

JBL instead offered to provide the part free of charge but asked me to cover the labour cost.
I disagreed and lodged a VCAT application (it's a small claim court in Victoria). JBL and I had a case conference with a VCAT mediation officer. JBL then agreed to pay for the repair in whole. It's been fixed.

Then another ACL claim.

I bought a Samsung TV at $4,400. After 6.5 years of use, the screen developed an egg-sized bright stuck pixel area, then 2 more similar areas in the centre of the screen.
I contacted Samsung requesting free repair or pro-rata refund under ACL. The same song was sung (no pun intended) - it's 1 year warranty and that's it.
I again had to respectfully point out:
ACL states that "Businesses must provide these automatic guarantees regardless of any other warranties they give to you or sell you." and "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."
And 6.5 years of a $4.4K TV is not considered acceptable.
The day after I served Samsung with a VCAT notice and my Points of Claim, Samsung called me, sent agents to assess and then fixed the TV in my home, no charge, within 2 days.

My cost to get the speaker fixed was about $145 (assessment fee and VCAT fee) and for the TV was about $70 VCAT fee.

I hope companies like them just get to understand the law of doing business in Australia and comply, rather than spending lots of their staff time and being dragged to court to end up doing the right thing at the end.

Finally a note to the person/persons that said "you know damn well that you're not going to take this to court" - You know damn well now that I did.


        • +1

          Mercedes doesn't have to give a 7 year warranty, as the people buying Mercs would do so with a 1 year warranty, gotta try to impress the neighbours.

          • @brendanm: Thanks for missing the point. $500 may look a bit cheap, but where do you draw the line. $1K TV should last 7 yrs or more? What if someone somewhere has a $500 TV that has ran for 7 + yrs (and there probably are).

            It is likely that all other buyers of that TV brand will be subsidising his repair cost in future pricing. If I was considering a Samsung TV, I'd be a bit miffed if I ended up paying a bit more for the TV due to what he did.

            • +2

              @x d:

              Thanks for missing the point.

              It was deliberate.

              but where do you draw the line.

              You look at averages. Say the average price of a tv with a 65" screen is $1200. This would be "excepted" to last at least 3 or 4 years. You spend $4k on a 65" tv, you would expect it to last at the very least double this, if not more.

              If I was considering a Samsung TV, I'd be a bit miffed if I ended up paying a bit more for the TV due to what he did.

              Yet I bet you don't even think about the fact that prices are padded to allow for the cost of afterpay/zippay etc, even if you aren't using it?

              • @brendanm: Are you saying that all 65" TV screens perform the same, has the same quality screen and sound?

                So then why no arguments when it comes to Mercedes car? Do ACL rules not apply to all goods?

                Of course prices are padded. However whilst it's unlikely that the company will pass the savings to consumers if its cost averages decrease, they are likely to pass on costs on to consumers if their costs unexpectedly increased. That's insurance policies.

                • +5

                  @x d: Have you read ACL? As a summary, it is what the "average person" would consider is "reasonable". The image quality etc doesn't matter that much to the average person, however the average person expects that the more they spend, the better the quality, and the longer it will last.

                  Regarding Mercedes, I have no idea. Take your busted Merc trans to xcat and see what happens.

                  • -1

                    @brendanm: The point was if you agree with OP's action, you should support a person doing the same thing for a busted Merc transmission.

                    Somehow I suspect Mercedes doesn't see it the same way..

                    • +2

                      @x d: I do support someone doing it for Merc, not sure where you got the idea I don't?

                      • @brendanm: Do you advise those thinking of buying an Audi or a BMW, and who wants to keep the vehicle for 8 yrs or so to not bother with any extended warranty, given that they only provide 3 yrs warranty?

                        Good luck with that…

                        • +3

                          @x d: I advise them to do whatever they want. VW and Audi have repaired/replaced heaps of gearboxes and engines out of warranty. Honestly not sure why you are harping on about cars when people are talking about appliances.

                          • @brendanm: I am harping on about cars because the same principle applies when it comes to the higher cost of one item relative to another do not necessary indicate that you can expect the said item to last longer.

                            You know what, after seeing all the entrants of those supporting the OP's post, I am thinking, "F that" I am not going to subsidise these folks repairs and claims. If one of my expensive items fail, I'm going to do the same, even though I don't agree with it. So what if it's going to drive up the purchase price of items in the future.

                            • @x d:


                              Lol. Perhaps the manufacturer's should just make things properly? My Panasonic plasma from 2011 is still going like a champ.

                              • @brendanm: I have a Panasonic plasma too and still going strong. Hope it doesn't die on you. If it does, are you going to buy a Samsung TV? If you do, enjoy the higher prices.

                                • +1

                                  @x d: No, I'll fix my Panasonic to be honest. Not a big Samsung fan.

                                  If you honestly think op has increased Samsung prices, you may want to check how much revenue Samsung has worldwide. All of Australia is a small market, let alone one person.

        • +2

          "Have you tried to go to Merc at 6.5 yrs when the gearbox fails"

          Abso-flippin-lutely. Head over to the Whirlpool automotive forums to see many people who have manned up and forced 'prestige' euro manufacturers to fix their fancy junk heaps under ACL.

          • @Dogsrule: You are probably talking about the DSG saga that VW and Audi have been forced to fix under goodwill. That was a recognised design fault and was subject to recalls around the world. Even my sister in law went through that with her 2012 Audi A3.

            Please show me that goodwill exist with other major faults outside of warranty.

            Whereas out of interest, I did go through whirlpool with searches and here are some that are quite painful
            1/ 7 yo A45 with dead gearbox - $17k to fix for a new box, later downgraded $4K to fix a broken part, goodwill declined https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/3wjx66r9
            2/ 2015 C250 with a dead engine - $35K to fix. fighting with ACCC but no updates https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/3qq20m53

            That's just Mercedes, haven't searched under BMW or Audi

  • +5

    I've just realised my Samsung 3D TV still in a great condition after more than 10 years. I guess that TV made 10-15 years ago will last longer than the ones currently made.

  • +38

    all these ozmorons saying your a pest because you 'whinged' that your $4000 tv died after 6 years. Im sure all of these people would lose their shit if their expensive tv died. Good job OP for doing the right thing in a pleasant manner.

    • +10

      Trolls are as old as the internet. If we don't feed them, they will starve.

      • +2

        Trolls don't like to see other people succeed

    • +2

      Just like what Eurythmics says, some people just want to be abused..

  • +3

    My 2018 MacBook Pro has a malfunction USB-C port, Apple advised that need to replace the logicboard which is not covered by warranty and not worth it and suggested to purchase a new laptop.

    Do I have a claim with VCAT? Or 2 years are really a expected life expectancy for a near 2000 dollars laptop

    • +5

      I think most reasonable people would expect a $2k laptop to last more than 2 years.

      • +2

        Darn, didnโ€™t realise itโ€™s been 4 years already not 2 years. I guess that decrease my chance for fighting it

        • +2

          Depends when you bought it in 2018.

        • personally i would expect a $2000 macbook to last longer than 4 years.
          chances are for the same specs you could have gotten a cheaper windows laptop that would last about the same time.
          if its apple i would expect it to last 5+ years.

          try take it to vcat (or your equivalent if not in victoria) and see how you go.

          • @Hirolol:

            if its apple i would expect it to last 5+ years.

            I bought a used MacBook Pro Retina 2012 from ebay in 2017, my friend said I was crazy but it's still going strong. No problems with it. I replaced the battery in it myself earlier this year as it came up saying battery requires service and now the charge is holding good again. Lasts for weeks on standby mode.

    • +4

      Don't take it to Apple, try to find an independent repair shop that will service it. This is a typical Apple move where they'll replace the entire logicboard for minor issues when it's not required in order to get you to purchase a new device

    • +1

      On taking them to VCAT, 4 years for a $2000 premium branded laptop is pretty short and I'd fight them.

      On repairing Mac books and the BS apple spews this guy Louis ROSSMAN channel deals with it a lot:

    • take it through small claims court , you will easily win.

  • +8

    Agree. My 6 years old TV is only 700 and works perfectly well. If you pay 4400, it better lasts 10 years. I went to look for an upgrade to a larger TV today. The salesman tried to push me to buy additional 2 year warranty for 400 on top of a 3k TV because he claimed it only has 1 year warranty. Tell him nicely no. Can't believe people actually buy this. ACL should be widely known by more people.

    • +3

      Some people prefer to pay up to avoid hassle and time to deal with XCAT.

      People value time differently.

  • +2

    Good job, glad to see some people still value their purchases.

  • OP send this to DudespostingWs

    A dub is a dub.

  • Well done, OP. Thank you for sharing.

    You held those companies accountable, and did not let them walk all over you. Kudos. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘Š

  • +6

    This has to be one of the best posts in this Ozb column for a long long time. "I hope companies like them just get to understand the law of doing business in Australia and comply, rather than spending lots of their staff time and being dragged to court to end up doing the right thing at the end. I cannot agree with you more OP! Well done! Australia is leading the world in consumer proection with really good laws/regulations/administrative structures, use it and set good example for the rest of the world!

  • +3

    I'm hoping my 7 year old tv dies so the missus doesn't complain when I buy a new one.

    • +1

      You can always kill it when nobody is watching. Pun kind of intended.

      • Haha I've thought about that too

  • +3

    Well done

  • +3

    Well done OP, need to hold these companies accountable for quality control.

  • -2

    Jeez, I hope companies don't raise cost of goods to balance issues like this out.

    6.5 years seems like a good run to me.

    • -1

      Samsung make billions I'm profits a year, I'm sure they aren't too fussed about a few repair jobs.

  • +5

    I would love to see if anybody has done this successfully with Apple after a considerable amount of time. They are a pathological denier of any responsibility for their overpriced products. I need to do this for my 2017 Macbook Pro which has developed a known display fault.

    • I get the feeling Apple would even try to claim the water damage exception on something as clearly "housebound and immobile" as an "all in one giant Mac desktop"

    • Very strange.. i walked in with my 2018 macbook a few months ago because the battery was hopeless and was prepared to negotiate paying 50% of the price and but ended up paying nothing for a new battery without opening my mouth.

    • Would be nice to know. They have a tendency to say things can't be fixed and get you to buy a new one

  • +2

    You inspire me OP.

    Good Job.

  • +2

    Interesting story OP, perhaps if companies didn't offer only a 1 year warranty on a $4400 TV this would be less of an issue. To be honest 6.5 years seems like quite a long time although my current TV is 9.5 years old I suppose. But a 1 year warranty on a $4400 TV is ridiculous, who'd be OK with spending $4000 every year on a TV?

  • +18

    Why do all these people who think it's acceptable for a TV to last less than 6 years, ESPECIALLY at 4.4 thousand dollars? I feel like I'm from another planet seeing all these comments that are saying that is reasonable! My mother still has the same (quite expensive) TV she's had since 2007 - 2008 (possibly earlier, but it wasn't later than that) it is beginning to show its age with some lighter spots on dark backgrounds but it seems to get better after it's been on for a while. I've had the same little Samsung LCD since 2012 or thereabouts, which is going strong and was only a few hundred dollars. before that I had an old Toshiba CRT that was in perfect condition, sadly my father threw that out "because it was old" even though it worked as well as the day it had been bought (probably before I was born).

    I just can't wrap my head around the wasteful mindset that thinks it's okay to get a new tv every 5 years, especially considering how much TVs cost. Electronics manufacturers are planning obsolescence because of how widespread this mindset has become, though I didn't think it would be here of all places. A TV should last 10 years, minimum, either that or drastically lower the prices to account for their outrageously short lifespan.

    Well done on getting your money back.

    • +4

      Couldn't agree more. Throwing out something the size of a TV every few years is so extremely wasteful it's sad so many accept that it's a given.

      Fridges, TVs, washing machines once lasted close to your entire adult lift.

      Visit any local landfill and you will find they are overflowing with these items now stacked up, all looking no more than a few years old.

  • +1

    Great result, remains me of this: https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/568100

  • +1

    Great success!

  • +4

    Good Job!!

    I had a win with Microsoft/ EB Games a couple of years back. I purchased an Xbox one X project scorpio edition, within 2 years I suspect the hard drive died.

    I took it back to EB games (where I purchased it) they forced me to go back to Microsoft because EB games only covers one year of the warranty, Microsoft said I could send it back but they would not send me back a project scorpio edition console. After much back and forth I took it to Fair Trading who agreed that getting a refurbished standard console in exchange for my project scorpio edition was not the same thing. Microsoft eventually organised a full refund through EB Games. They went over my console but fortunately it was in immaculate condition except for the problem and I got my refund.

    All up it took about 6 months to get through this process and it was many phone calls, emails but I got my money back, which was a great result.

    • +2

      Why wouldn't MS just replace the drive? That would have been much cheaper for them and satisfied the ACL conditions.

      • I would have been content with that result, initially it was what I wanted but they said that they don't replace hard drives like that.

        They would take my console, ship me out a refurbished one and there are no guarantees it will be a limited edition one due to not having repair facilities in Australia.

  • question is, how do you keep your receipt for 6.5 years without losing them?

    • +1

      It's an A4 page in perfect condition, filed away in a folder, in chronological order. I know I'm organised. All my emails in the last 25 years are backed up fully to this day.

      • +2

        f**k me, that's crazy, can't you just take a pic?

        • I think photo is easier as well, I just take a photo and spend once a year sorting the receipt and backup using 3,2,1 method. Spend some time naming receipt as well so searching for them is way easier. To be fair only do this on large purchases, which isn't alot each year if you think about it.

    • There's an app for that - https://www.accc.gov.au/about-us/tools-resources/accc-shoppe...

      Also remember that you don't need a receipt. You need proof of purchase. A bank statement can do it.

      EDIT: the ACCC app has no backup function. Don't use it.

  • +1

    Well done nickbose on standing your ground. These companies are very cocky indeed when they need to stand behind their products.

  • +1

    Congrats on the results in both cases. I thankfully haven't had to go to that point before, but definitely have had to push the issue with many manufacturers/retailers.

  • +1

    Fantastic, shame you were still out of pocket for the fees, they should pay for them too if they lose.

    About time people stood up for their consumer rights, people and attitudes are way behind what they should be here and manufacturers and retailers take full advantage of that.

    Well done.

  • +1

    You are a legend

  • Good on you!
    I am not a lawyer but have some in my family who hate me most. So I discovered a huge car fraud racket. Company in Perth, Lawyer with biggest rectal opening in Melbourne Fraudster in QLD govt siphoning off big style. Situation declared hopeless by dozens of lawyers. But I stood my ground. Winning was the smallest thing but being hunted down by associates is a rather sad story. All they care is about stuffed TV's. Nothing else seem to have warranty rights!

  • +1

    lol this dude is an absolute slayer. wonder if theres a way to recover costs too?

  • +1

    Thank you for sharing mate.
    could you maybe share redacted paperwork that you submitted?
    Really interested how a successful claim looks like.

  • This is actually fascinating and a very useful piece of information. Does this essentially mean that extended warranty is useless? Even if we have 2 years manufacturers warranty and someone tries to sell you an extra 3 years of extended warranty, it looks like we wouldn't even need to consider it especially if a piece of electronic is still expected to have a useful life of 6/7 years.

    • -1

      If you prepare to go OP's path and save few hundred, then the extended warranty is useless.

      Some people just want peace of mind.

    • +1

      Extended warranty is in my opinion generally useless, for the reasons you say. I think there are some exceptions though, e.g. a coffee machine that needs parts to be replaced routinely for maintenance.

    • It's cream on top for retailer.

  • Congrats on your wins, but you'd be naive to think you've made any difference to how these companies handle complaints such as yours

    You are a tiny drop in the ocean for these companies and for the thousands, (or in the case of Samsung, millions) of consumers that simply "let it go" if something breaks after the warranty period, only 1 like yours would end up having to cost the company anything

    For them, they would simply consider this a very very minor cost of doing business.

    On a side note, I'd say most people would simply use a broken TV after 6.5 years as a great excuse to upgrade to the latest and greatest

    • I imagine what the OP would like in the first instance is to make a difference to how some of us view our options when we run into similar issues, particularly with higher-priced goods.

  • +2

    Excellent work, well done, particularly at sticking with a 6.5 year lifetime for a $4400 product, and dealing with it in the proper fashion.

    Congratulations. It is a shame you are not recompensed for the time you have taken to do this.

  • +2

    Good on you mate.

  • +1

    Good on you for standing up for yourself OP. Companies depend on people thinking it's too much effort and giving up, the more people that show them otherwise, the better for us consumers.

  • -1

    not sure why but the comment section feels off, especially for a post like this. i remember seeing a post similar to this one not too long ago and the comments pounced on the OP.

  • +1

    Good on you! My 42" Soniq TV that I purchased when I was 16 or 17 years old is in the bedroom and still working great. I'm 32 now so the TV is at least 15 years old. I wouldn't be okay with a multi thousand dollar TV not lasting 6.5 years, hell no.

  • +2

    thank you so much for posting your experience.
    we should all learn from this and not let these companies get away with ripping people off.

    people are out of their mind if they think a $4400 tv shouldn't last 6.5years.

  • I mean I bought a sound bar that was about $750 ish and Bing Lee said I can only get a refund via a gift card which was illegal. Their reasoning was that I used it and it's old….

    I paid cash. lmao at the end of the day though no one cares people still shop. Life goes on. Illegal stuff or not no one boycotts as long as it's convient and cheap for themselves.

  • +2

    in both cases the company decided to 'pay you off' by paying for the repair etc rather than pay their legal team and mgt to go through with it - simple case of 1 cost was less than the other

  • +2

    Well done.

  • +11

    The learned helplessness is staggering. The one year warranty is a low ball so that you anchor your expectations around that.
    People arguing the case for a highly profitable multi-national just goes to show how effective they have been at gas-lighting us all.
    And no, it doesn't put prices up. It makes them slightly less massively profitable.

    • This. A million times, this. The amount people will actively spend their own time defending the practices of a billion dollar corporation is just staggering.

  • +3

    I've gotta say I'm pretty surprised you won the battle on a 6.5yr old TV! Kudos to you though, it paid off!

    What gets me with these laws is they are so vague. Words like "acceptable" and "reasonable" are open to anybody's interpretation. As ridiculous as it sounds, you really need an exhaustive list with a definitive time period spelled out for each item/category. This would help the consumer as well as the manufacturer know where they stand.

    • +1

      The productivity commission just recommended this to the government.

  • +1

    Good on you OP.

    Even claiming warranty is like pulling teeth in Australia. I'm looking at you JB-Hifi.

  • -2

    hmmm I have a washing machine 4 years old that has developed an annoying fault and I kinda just assumed I was out of luck. Might poke them a bit and see what happens.

    • My Samsung washer leaked after 4 years. Called up Samsung, they came out to fix it.

  • you can tell this guy would have a cry over the smallest things lol

    • -1

      You can tell from the majority of the comments that OzB is literally full of 'em!

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