- The decision in ACCC v Fisher & Paykel Customer Services  FCA 1393 provides a useful reminder to businesses of their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) in respect of the offer of extended warranties.
- Businesses must take care in offering extended warranties to ensure that no representation is made that a consumer will not be protected against repair costs in certain circumstances, when the statutory guarantee regime in the ACL provides no such limitations.
- The decision leaves open what a business must offer to consumers under an extended or additional warranty to ensure that the consumer is purchasing something ‘more’ than they are otherwise entitled to under the ACL.
In 2013, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) commenced proceedings against Fisher & Paykel Customer Services Pty Ltd (F&P Customer Services) and Domestic & General Services Pty Ltd (Domestic & General) in respect of an extended warranty for Fisher & Paykel appliances offered to customers.
Justice Wigney’s decision in the Federal Court case of ACCC v Fisher & Paykel Customer Services FCA 1393, and subsequent consent orders made in January 2015, serve as a reminder that care should be taken when communicating the benefit of an extended warranty in circumstances in which consumers already have the benefit of the statutory consumer guarantee provisions in the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) (found within Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)).