Consumers risk losing their data when taking their goods for repair. Sometimes, consumers do not realise or overlook this risk, and so it is important that businesses take steps to bring this to their attention before starting the repair process. Repair notices let the consumer know the business’ usual practice in repairing goods and the risks involved.

Do I Have to Provide a Repair Notice?

The person or business taking the goods for repair must provide the repair notice. For example, if the consumer takes a laptop directly to a repairer, the repairer will need to provide the repair notice. If the consumer takes the laptop to a store, who accepts the laptop on behalf of the repairer, the store will need to provide the repair notice.

There are situations where the store may take the laptop, but not on the repairer’s behalf. Here, the repairer is responsible for providing the repair notice.

When do I Have to Provide a Repair Notice?

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) requires you to provide a repair notice to a consumer before you accept the goods for repair in certain situations.

Firstly, if the goods repaired are a good that stores user-generated data, then you will need to provide a repair notice. Items like phones, computers, and other electronic goods store data that can be lost during repair.

Secondly, there are repairers whose practice is refurbishing instead of repairing the defective good, or using other parts when they repair the goods. If this is the case, the repairer needs to provide a repair notice to the consumer.

The requirement applies to both goods bought new, secondhand, and online.

If a consumer is bringing multiple items for repair, you can generally provide one notice instead of multiple notices as long as the notice contains the appropriate information.

Some businesses first assess the damage to the product before attempting to repair the device. If you are only accepting the product for assessment, you do not need to provide a repair notice. However, if after the assessment you proceed with repairing the goods, you will need to provide a repair notice.

Which Goods do I Have to Provide a Repair Notice For?

Not all goods require you to provide a repair notice. The two requirements are:

  1. The goods are used or likely to be used for personal, domestic, or household use or consumption; or 
  2. The goods have been acquired by a consumer, which means that they cost less than $40,000 or are more than $40,000 but normally used for personal, domestic, or household consumption. 

The ACL excludes goods bought with the intention of reselling or reusing them to create another product.

Conclusion

If there is a risk that a consumer may lose data stored on their devices, you need to let them know. Don’t accept an item for repair without first providing the consumer with a repair notice.

Questions? Get in touch with LegalVision’s consumer lawyers on 1300 544 755.

 

Dhanu Eliezer

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