Under the Australian Consumer Law, consumer guarantees become applicable every time you purchase goods and services. These guarantees are made by the supplier of the service to give assurances to you in relation to the quality of the service that you are purchasing.

These guarantees ensure that the services will:

  • Be provided with due care and skill or technical knowledge;
  • Be provided through taking the necessary steps to avoid loss or damage;
  • Be fit for the purpose that you agreed to purchase the service for;
  • Be provided or delivered within a reasonable time if there has not been an agreed date.

Due care and skill 

This guarantee ensure that all services provided to you are done so using an acceptable level of skill or technical knowledge taking all necessary steps to avoid damage or loss.

The standard of due care and skill is measured against work that a competent person with average skills and experience relating to this service could provide.

Fit for purpose 

To be fit for purpose the service must satisfy a range of criteria which include:

  • That the service must achieve the purpose that you had specified to the service provider
  • That the services are of a standard that is expected to achieve the results that you specified to the supplier

This guarantee does not apply when the skill or judgment of the supplier was not relied upon when purchasing the service or if the service was purchased from a qualified architect or engineer.

Reasonable time

If the contract of service does not state the time within which the service needs to be provided and completed, it is expected that the service will nevertheless be provided and completed within a reasonable period of time.

What is a reasonable time will vary depending on the type of service that has been purchased. If you’re unsure of which guarantees apply to the sale of services, seek legal advice from a small business lawyer.

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