Consumer guarantees: Services
Services must be rendered with due care and skill
Suppliers guarantee that services will be provided with due care and skill (s 60 Australian Consumer Law (ACL)). This means that the service provider must use an acceptable level of skill or technical knowledge and take necessary care to avoid loss and damage.
Services must be fit for specified purpose
Suppliers guarantee that services will be reasonably fit for any purpose that the consumer made known to the supplier, either expressly or by implication (s 61 ACL).
The services – and any product that results from those services – must be of such nature, quality, state or condition that they might reasonably be expected to achieve the consumer’s desired result, if the consumer has made this known to the supplier or the supplier’s agent. This guarantee only applies if it was reasonable for the consumer to rely on the skill and judgment of the supplier and the consumer actually relied on the skill and judgment of the supplier.
Services must be provided within a reasonable time
Suppliers guarantee that services will be provided within a reasonable time, where the time period is not fixed or agreed upon (s 62 ACL). Whether a time period is ‘reasonable’ depends on the nature of the services and may be affected by external factors (e.g. the weather and availability of parts).
Statutory warranties: Financial services
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) (‘ASIC Act’) implies two non-excludable statutory warranties into a contract between a supplier of financial services to a consumer, namely:
• the services will be rendered with due care and skill, and
• the services, and any materials supplied with those services, will be reasonably fit for purpose (s 12ED ASIC Act).