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Firms attempt to Circumvent Australian Consumer Laws

This country has longer "proving" times for consumers. It means that a product must do what it expected to do for longer than in other countries. The public is well protected here.

Fisher & Paykel a New Zealand company recently lost a court battle because it did not exchange faulty goods. Clearly, businesses do not like the protection laws. It is not only foreign firms like Apple that are ignoring or trying to circumvent Australian consumer laws. Harvey Norman, a large chain of franchises, has had five of its stores fined for not abiding by the law.

Companies continue to fight to the High Court where all cases so far have been lost. The law is very clear - a product must serve its primary function for a decent period of time. If it doesn't, a refund or exchange for a new item must be given.

Because firms are wasting court time the fines are increasing. They have reached $32,000. Besides the fines, stores are ordered to display signs setting out consumer rights and staff must do a compliance program.
Business by Ty Buchanan
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