Consumer Guarantees Act

Farmer Freddy has a Consumer Guarantees Act dispute over a lawnmower

Pebbles and Freddy are driving back from the All Blacks v France test match in New Plymouth.  Pebbles drives into Freddy’s driveway, and notices a new ride-on mower parked in Freddy’s shed.  “Nice ride-on, Dad, looks like you’ve spent some money?” says Pebbles.

“A lot of money for a lemon.  I purchased it from a retailer at the Field Days in Hamilton a couple of weeks back, but when I used it after it was delivered, the engine cut out after about 10 minutes of running it, and the whole thing came to a grinding holt in a cloud of blue smoke!” grumbles Freddy.

“Well did you take for a test run before purchasing it?” enquires Pebbles.

“Of course I did!” exclaims Freddy.  “But that was the demonstration model at the Field days.  That lemon there was delivered to me on order.” Freddy continues as he kicks one of the mower’s tyres.  “What can I do about it Pebbles?”  Freddy asks.

Well Dad, it sounds like you’ve got a valid complaint under the Consumer Guarantees Act.

“I do?” enquires Freddy.

“Yes, under the Consumer Guarantees Act, retailers and other such suppliers are obligated to make certain guarantees.  Including, that the goods they are selling are of an acceptable quality, are fit for purpose, and match the sample or demonstration model.” says Pebbles.

“That’s all very well Pebbles, but now I’m still stuck with a faulty mower.”  Freddy complains.

“Dad, if something goes wrong, like what has happened to your mower, you have the right to go back to the seller, and insist that the seller fixes things.” advises Pebbles.

“But Pebbles, the mower was manufactured in China.  How am I ever going to track them down?”  Freddy asks in frustration.

“You don’t have to go to the manufacturer.  You can make your complaint with the retailer that sold you the mower.  You don’t have to track down the manufacturer or importer.  If the problem is minor, the retailer can repair the mower, give you a replacement, or refund you the purchase price.  If the problem cannot be fixed, or put right within a reasonable time, you then have the right to reject the product and choose a replacement of the same type, or demand a full refund.  If you want a refund, retailers cannot offer you a store credit, you are entitled to cash.” Pebbles Explains.

“Well thanks for that Pebbles.  I will go and dig out my purchase and delivery receipts, and get in touch with the dodgy retailer that sold me my mower.  I knew I should not have trusted him.”  Freddy says.

“Don’t get too fired up yet Dad.  It might be that the retailer will be genuinely concerned, and only too happy to help put it right.  But let me know if the retailer refuses to help you out, and I will help you take your complaint further.” cautions Pebbles.

“Thanks Pebbles, I certainly will do.” says Freddy.

The content of this document is necessarily general and readers should seek specific advice on particular matters and not rely solely on this document. 

If you would like more information on any of the topics in this document, please contact your usual Auld Brewer Mazengarb & McEwen adviser. 


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Philip McCarthy