Australian Consumer Law - $200 Microwave, Not Working in <2.5 Years, 1 Year Warranty

I have a (Breville) microwave I bought from Target in October 2021. Warranty was for 1 year.

It's been used in a family setting, normal usage. Clean, not abused etc.
It's been just over 2 years (?), and it has suddenly stopped heating food. Very surprising, because my previous LG lasted 10 years.

  • Is it reasonable for a $200 microwave to stop working after just over 2 years?
  • If it's unreasonable, can I return it to Target for a replacement / refund based on the Australian Consumer Law?

Quote: There is no specific time when the consumer guarantees no longer apply to products. They may apply even after the manufacturer's warranty period has past. The length of the consumer guarantee period depends on a number of factors including: …the length of time for which it is reasonable for the product to be used….

Note: I have thrown away the microwave box it came in, just have the microwave.

According to this, a microwave should last 7-8 years.

Poll Options

  • 75
    It IS reasonable for a 2 year old, $200 microwave to be broken.
  • 382
    It is NOT reasonable for this microwave to be broken at this point - Take it back to the store
  • 30
    I don't know, I just want to see the results

Comments

  • +10

    Breville is usually a fairly decent brand. If you have no success with target, write a review on productreview.com.au

      • +25

        Considering most people are getting 5-10 years out of their microwaves, I'd argue that it is unreasonable.

        I wouldn't bother with a product review, I'd be straight onto fair trading to start the mediation process.

        If it was a $50 microwave sure I’d say unreasonable but it's not.

          • +3

            @HeWhoKnows: From the description:

            It's been used in a family setting, normal usage. Clean, not abused etc

          • +3

            @HeWhoKnows: Keep bootlicking those corporations and their profits.

            You know we pay the Australia tax for a reason and one of them is our consumer protections. You’ve paid for them, use them.

        • +4

          Yes, the open button on my panasonic microwave was hard to open few months after i got it, didn't bother getting it replaced as thought it would only last 2 years. 14 years on the rest of the microwave still hasn't broken yet.

          absolute pain lol.

          • @CalmLemons: Treat yourself to a new microwave, mate - you've earned it!

      • +2

        My LG solar dome with grill is still going since 2008, granted it was in storage for 3 of those years but that's still forever.

        My parents have an LG still going at least 10 years.

        My sister's Samsung, still going since 2015.

        • My Panasonic (National) Dimension 4 is still going since the mid 1980's.
          Though, it has done a couple of quirky things of late.

          • @OBone: Ofcourse everything is made to be cheaper to maximise sales and profits, they don't make them like they used to.

            • +1

              @reactor-au: You are right there.
              If memory serves, it cost just over $1000 but it's built like a battle ship and weighs as much.
              Certainly got my moneys worth out of it.

      • -4

        Totally agree.

        warranty was for 1 year!

        It didnt break down a couple months after warranty ended it broke down closer to 16 months after the warranty ended.

        How many microwaves have longer warranties? Not many have obviously microwave manufacturers have no faith that their product will last.

      • Found the ASX:MYR bagholder

      • +1

        That is the whole reason why ACL changed to not have a time limit.

        Some manufacturers were deliberately using cheap/non-lasting parts. This is either intentional obsolescence, just cost cutting.

        By forcing them to replace units that are 2–3 years old, it forces a business decision to ensure that they use quality parts and do sufficient QA testing.

        It's then cheaper for the business to use quality parts rather than cheaper to use junk parts.

    • It used to be a decent brand. Build quality has dropped a lot.

    • "Breville used to be a fairly decent brand."
      FTFY

    • +12

      Cool story AB, have an upvote from me.

    • +39

      My cats breath smells like cat food

    • +9

      I also only use imported microwave ovens. Domestic microwave ovens are so plebian.

      • It had a lot of fancy features that our domestic microwaves tend not to have at the time actually, at least not in my price range.

        • What kind of features?

          Got an example model?

          • +1

            @ihfree: This was like 17 years ago or more. I can't even remember what brand it was.

      • +1

        A man of culture I see.

    • +3

      Is he still a friend? Is he a pilot yet?

      • Nah haven't seen him in years. He was training to be a pilot because flight engineers aren't needed on modern planes.

        • +10

          I hope this story continues, I'm hooked.

        • +8

          I miss him too we should reach out

        • Did he ever tell you why the really make us put our phones in flight mode? I've noticed a lot of people don't bother.

        • Can you reach out and find out what his current microwave situation is? Can't sleep without knowing.

  • Have a read and open a support case https://www.breville.com/au/en/support/Warranty.html

    • +5

      The consumer guarantee is with the retailer, not the manufacturer.

      • +4

        I think this is incorrect. The consumer guarantee is with both. If I recall correctly, the ACL actually provides the guarantee is by the manufacturer, and the “supplier” is a “deemed manufacturer” for the purposes of the guarantee.
        This makes ACL more consumer friendly and gives the consumer two options by which to seek compensation. The supplier can then claim from the manufacturer, but that’s their problem, not the consumer’s.

        • The guarantee is with both.

          However the available remedy is different for each.

          Simply put:

          Retailer (s 259) - repair, refund, replace.
          Manufacture (s 271) - monetary damages.

  • +15

    Business warranties are overriden by ACL consumer guarantees
    https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/problem-with-a-product-or-…

  • +1

    What they are obligated to do and what they should do is different. They should not be obligated to replace or refund , they should be obligated to offer to have it inspected/repaired and if deemed user damaged charge the repair fee.

    Now it's a $200 microwave probably just easier to refund/replace.

    • +1

      Now it's a $200 microwave probably just easier to refund/replace.

      This is the problem these days.

      Under ACL manufacturer's are also obligated to support products via repairs and spare parts for a "reasonable time". Guarantee that most do not - primarily due to it being cheaper to replace than to diagnose+repair.

  • +27

    All I want for Christmas is for the ACCC to put reasonable mandatory minimum warranty terms on common consumer goods.

    • +20

      The obvious reason they don't is that what is reasonable can vary even for the same types of products. A bottom of the barrel piece of junk fridge that costs $400 would not reasonably be expected to last the same amount of time as a top end, high end brand fridge costing $3000. So they can hardly say 'a fridge must last at least 8 years' for example as that means they are either grossly inflating the reasonable life of the $400 product or deflating the reasonable life of the $3000 product.

      • +4

        They can easily create a sliding scale with a size/$/longevity ratio.

        • +1

          And as soon as that happens that sliding scale changes from being a guide to be the rule - products will be designed to hit their mark on the scale and not last any longer than that.

          • @Chandler: Its not like they are giving a rats ass now anyway. 1 year warranty on a piece of tech that hasn't changed in 50 years is a joke.

        • They can easily create a sliding scale with a size/$/longevity ratio.

          Not easy. The rationale and purpose of the ACL is to broadly protect Australian consumers, who are on the wrong side of a power-imbalance, from shitty manufacturer/retailer behaviour. The reason for leaving it open, amongst other things, is that it allows for broader interpretation without becoming needlessly specific, complicated, and quickly obsolete. What you're describing would be an enormous (and certainly not exhaustive) schedule of products that would be largely out of date by the time it was put into a bill.

      • +20

        or… they would be forced to rethink low end product designs as being disposable. it sucks that "low end" means junk, when did it stop meaning less features, older tech/parts, less expensive finishes.

      • -1

        Is it really true that more expensive models (of the same brand) are actually designed to last longer? Why don't manufacturers offer longer warranties on more expensive items? It's very rare to see that.

        And as others said, they can easily make a sliding scale thats adjusted annually.

        • +3

          It isn't necessarily about what it is designed for, it's what a reasonable person would expect. If you buy no name cheap rubbish whitegoods, a reasonable person won't expect them to last as long as an expensive and high end brand like Miele. In reality, they may last just as long - or longer - in individual cases. But price certainly plays into the reasonable life consideration of a product.

          As for making sliding scales - easy to say, but then they have to do this for literally every type of product (a cheap microwave costs less than a cheap fridge, so would need it's own sliding scale for example.) Just sounds painful.

          • +1

            @saitaris: It would need to have the scale constantly adjusted to account for inflation and technological advancements in that product category forcing the price up or down. It would require a lot of manpower to maintain. Personally I like the ambiguity it currently offers because in some ways it's an unlimited warranty if you've paid enough (not applicable to cars or houses for some reason)

        • can easily make a sliding scale thats adjusted annually

          What exactly about frequenly altering legislation is easy?

          • @johnno07: It would be like how fines are adjusted each year. The legislation doesn't change each year at all lol.

            • @Presence: I am very aware of how penalty units work for fines. You're talking about an exhaustive list of every product, multiplied by every price bracket - at least. And product pricing doesn't just change with CPI. With innovations in product design and manufacturing, and improvements in supply chain products can become cheaper. Likewise things like pandemics can smash logistics and make your products much more expensive. Because the price of your chosen microwave doubled in 2021 due to supply chain woes, should that increase the length of the implied warranty - no. You're just super duper underestimating the complexity of what you're suggesting.

      • Our el-cheapo Beko fridge has been doing well for the last 4 years.

    • -2

      Now Felsy boy is gone and replaced with a henhouse…

      Just keep dreaming…..

    • +2

      Ryobi would cease to exist.

      • -1

        Why?
        TTI tools provide a good alternative to their competition.
        Never had an unresolved issue, then I don't buy tools from Gerry!

    • +1

      I don't think you really do, such a thing would massively increase the cost of consumer goods.

      It's good how it is currently for the people willing to enforce their rights. For the ones who don't they provide our subsidy.

      Selfish as it is.

  • +14

    Choice magazine have life expectancy of microwaves at:

    • Budget / entry level: 6 years
    • Mid-range: 8 years
    • High-end: 10 years

    source

    • +3

      Gerry thinks more like 5 minutes!

    • +1

      Not sure how they've come up with these numbers. I reckon expecting a $49 Kmart microwave to still be under warranty 5+ years after purchase is ridiculous.

      • +33

        I want to live in a world where if a microwave can't be made to last 5 years that it just isn't manufactured at all.

        $49 microwaves mightn't be possibly but that's a price we should all be willing to pay.

        • +1

          Funny thing is when you think about the fact that there are very few actual microwave manufacturers in the world - most microwaves are manufactured by the same company.

          Why Almost Every Microwave is Made by the Same Company - Half as Interesting

        • +1

          We get to that world by claiming acl on poor quality stuff so that over time, the resellers would stop stocking them. It’s a self-adjusting market, every case moves the needle a little bit. It’s important that OP does keep the pressure on Target in this case. The manufacturing process has been refined over decades, it doesn’t make sense that we equate cheap to poor quality these days. Someone mentioned here that lower cost equals fewer functions but not worse build quality. $49 microwave should last as long as a $490 one but probably only a fraction of the power output and function.

  • Assume youve got receipt?

    • Yes.

      Just called them up. THey're saying that they are not liable anymore, and that it is the manufacturer's problem now.

      • +7

        Just letting you know. The workers that work there actually don't know shit. They go to work and go home no formal training. I use to work at big w after they lost a lawsuit about consumer rights. I realised they don't train their staff properly. I only know about the ACCC because I got (profanity) myself by Bing Lee. They had to refund me my goddam money for their faulty product they sold me.

    • +1

      The law says that a price on an item is "an offer to treat". In other words, you can offer to buy the item for that price, but the retailer is NOT legally bound to accept it. No law says that they have to sell something to you for the price marked on it. You could imagine that people would swap prices on items and that mistakes do happen.
      The exemption to this is where goods are not priced but sit on the shelf with a label advising the price, eg, at a supermarket where the item is scanned at the register instead. In this instance, if the item scans at a higher price than marked on the shelf, you are entitled to buy the first item at the lower price. When scanners first came out, supermarkets agreed to give you the first item for free if this happened, to increase customer confidence in scanners. But this was not the law, only an offer at the time by the supermarkets.

        • +1

          What is an Invitation to Treat?
          An invitation to treat is an invitation to negotiate or to make an offer. It will not, by itself, create a legally binding agreement. The most common examples of an invitation to treat are advertisements, catalogues, and price lists. These types of communications are not offers, but rather an invitation to the public to make an offer to buy goods or services.

          One of the most well-known cases in Australia that has dealt with the concept of an invitation to treat is Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Boots Cash Chemists (Southern) Ltd [1953] 1 QB 401. In this case, the Court held that the display of goods in a self-service shop was an invitation to treat rather than an offer.The customer’s selection of goods from the display was an offer, and the acceptance of the offer occurred at the checkout when the shop assistant accepted the customer’s payment.
          (Foulsham & Geddes) 2024

      • At common law that is true.

        However it could be misleading and deceptive conduct (s18 ACL) or, false or misleading representation with respect to the price of goods (s29(i) ACL) under statute if a product is not sold at a displayed or advertised price.

        • True, but mistakes happen as well as others trying to change stickers to buy cheaper. Both of these are not covered by the clauses you mention, as they apply to deliberate issues, such as advertising a car model for a price but when you get to the dealership it is only one particular car that was for sale for that price, or the cars having a base price but no cars for sale at that price because they are all fitted with options etc.

    • +2

      Gerry has an exemption so the ACCC rules do NOT apply to us!

      LOL.

      Gerry has nothing to do with JB. Stop telling porkies 🤣

      • -2

        Just sent a photo of their fake price tag to Wesfarmers Catch. Instant price match!
        Joined one plus and the TV is one the way freight free and the porkies at JB can rub their eyes.

        • Joined one plus

          LOL … Can't even get the name of the program right 🤣

          • @photonbuddy: I usually give the local dealers a go. Everybody gets a fair chance.
            I do not subscribe to Amazon or Ebay plus. Ebay eventually sells it for the lower price if there is excess stock.
            Only dumb people fall for illegal bait advertising.

            • @payless69:

              Only dumb people

              think Gerry has anything to do with JB's, or that catch have a product called one plus!

              • @photonbuddy: Oh Onepass, thanks for reminding me!
                I will cancel it once the TV arrives.

                Your comment made JBH stock
                Today's Change
                Up$2.370 (4.19%)

                • +1

                  @payless69:

                  Your comment

                  Your comments make you look like an idiot 🤣

                  • @photonbuddy: Correct: Just read the A2 milk report and now I know growing up on a dairy farm made me dumb. So Gerry thinks of me……..

                    • @payless69: What on earth are you talking about? I think you need to lay off the A2.

                      • @johnno07: This post is about a dead microwave: I don't drink A2 but trade their shares, I don't shop anymore at false name dog owner Gerry and now JB is also off my suppliers list for being total idiots!

    • +2

      10 year ago, they accused me of trying to "put computer virus on it" when I plugged my laptop into a TV (via HDMI) in store to test my content on it lol.
      They're idiots

  • Does it turn on at all? It could be just a fuse blown?

    • DOes turn on.

      Are you suggesting that I should try to get it fixed myself, and leave Target out?

      BTW I called Target and they're saying that outside of warranty, they are not liable and that i should take it up with the manufacturer.

      But according to this:
      https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/problem-with-a-product-or-…

      The right to return a product… Consumers have the right to return a product if they think there’s a problem… The product does not have to be in its original packaging, but a business is entitled to ask consumers to provide some form of proof of purchase, such as a receipt.

      • +4

        Remind them of the obligations if that fails take it to manufacturer (might be a even faster resolution.
        Then make a complaint

      • Even if it turns on it can still be a fuse. There's a high rated fuse on the magnatron, I have had the same issue with mine, after 5 years is would light up and spin but not hear. Just took the fuse out, got a few from ebay for a couple of dollars and put it back in. You just have to be very careful because like CRT tvs microwaves have serious capacities in them that can kill you even a long while after you unplug them

  • My sister bought a Sanyo microwave in 2001.
    2 years later she told me she wanted to throw it out as it kept sparking. I said give it to me and I'll have a look at it. Even after buying a new plate to cover the area the microwave comes from it still kept sparking!
    So I took the plate off and tried it. Worked perfectly. I still have it and use it 20 years or so later.

  • +2

    Yeah, assuming that it's nothing that you have done, then it seems like Target should do something. Have you tried contacting them via email or support at least to get it in writing? And send the links you've linked here. Or did you ask to speak to someone else at Target?

    I don't get how anyone can say it's reasonable for a microwave to only last 2.5 years, so I'm assuming they're trolling. A good question to ask is if you were presented with the microwave before you were about to purchase it, and were told upfront that it would only last 2.5 years, would you take that offer? Assuming it's not heavily discounted, there aren't many instances where someone would take that offer.

    Also, a quick google gives numbers between 5 to 10 years. Yeah, it's not scientific, but you could consider that as normal lifespan. So anything under that could be considered not normal.

    One thing I did a while ago with a broken laptop was I pretended to be a new customer and asked generally how long they last before things might start to have issues. And, of course, I got an answer a lot longer than what mine had lasted. So I used that when contacting them to support my argument.

    • I tried talking to Target over the phone, and they got hostile and just kept robotically repeating that after the warranty period, i must contact the manufacturer, as if I am a child who doesn't understand how thing work. Grrr

      • Did you try to escalate it? Did they respond at all to the ACCC thing?

      • I definitely would not go to the manufacturer. It simply adds another level of complexity, of areas for things to get confused, of 'he said, she said'.

        The absolute obligation is with the retailer. If you are not satisfied after phoning, and then emailing them, send a snail mail letter. Give them a date to reply by. (I know all this is time consuming, but ou must go through the process.)

        If finally not satisfied, go to your state Consumer Affairs / Fair Trading. They will tell you to do all those things I just did. And you can say you already have. 😃 Send all the correspondence, along with your evidence (that microwaves are generally expected to last… xx years the Choice link is good).

        Once Fair Trading is involved it's 95% certain Target will cave, and offer repair, replacement, or, more likely, a discount offer on a new one (that's to their advantage, not yours). And then up to you what you accept.

        Yes, it takes time. Yes, the onus is on the consumer to do the work. But we (in Australia) have some of the very best consumer laws in the world. And if we are honest, fair, and make the effort, most times the little guy can actually have an occasional win.

    • +3

      I have just sent them an email… Let's see how they respond.

      Over the phone they were very condescending, telling me to contact the manufacturer, even though "Businesses must not tell consumers to go to the manufacturer for a remedy." (ACCC)

  • +2

    My kmart one is still going strong after 8.5 years. Just upgraded to LG though. Was tired of waiting for the kmart one to give up..

  • Woeful business is Target. Wesfarmers should pull the plug and shut them down. Clearly whoever you were dealing with is either lazy and doesn't want to deal with your microwave or they genuinely are not trained in consumer law. Maybe call their hotline (1300 753 567), ask to speak to a store/assistant store manager or even try another Target if another store is within distance. And kindly remind them of their obligations under ACL when you do so.

  • +1

    No! My Panasonic microwave has been going since I first left home. I am now 41!!!!

    • +1

      When was that

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