The Consumer Guarantee Act

What is the Consumer Guarantee Act?
The Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 (CGA) sets out guarantees that goods and services must meet when sold by someone in trade - that is, a retailer or service person. The Act gives you rights when you buy faulty goods. It also ensures you have rights when work you pay for is not done properly.

The Consumer Guarantees Act section divides information into:

  • Your rights and remedies for faulty goods.
  • Your rights and remedies for service failures.
  • Your rights and remedies for consequential loss.

The Act covers:

  • Goods of a type that people ordinarily buy for personal or household use, such as clothes, washing machines, cars.

  • Services of a type that people ordinarily have carried out for a personal or household purpose, such as car repairs, haircuts, dry cleaning, painting or work done by a lawyer.

  • New and used goods bought on or after 1 April 1994.

  • From 8 July 2003, the Consumer Guarantees Act applies to electricity, gas, water and computer software. From this date, the Consumer Guarantees Act also applies to services relating to the supply of electricity, telecommunications, gas, water, and the removal of wastewater.

The Act does not cover:

  • Goods bought by auction or by tender.

  • Goods bought from a private seller.

  • Commercial goods - goods of a type that are ordinarily bought for use in offices, factories or farms may be covered by the Sale of Goods Act. The Sale of Goods Act may also cover those goods bought before the date the Consumer Guarantees Act became effective.

  • Commercial services - services of a kind that are ordinarily supplied to offices, factories or farms - eg, top-dressing, commercial property leases, commercial building maintenance, livestock transportation.

The Act sets out guarantees for goods and services. Goods and services must meet these guarantees. These guarantees are fixed by law and in most areas nothing that the manufacturer or the trader says or does can take them away from you. A trader can, in some circumstances contract out of this Act where the goods are sold to a business. More information on each guarantee is available in the faulty goods and failure of services sections.

The Act sets out remedies that traders must provide if a guarantee is broken. There is a range of remedies dependent on such issues as which guarantee was broken, how serious the problem is and whether you pursue a remedy for faulty goods against the manufacturer or retailer. More information on each guarantee is available in the faulty goods and failure of services sections.