Ever bought something and then later realised that it doesn’t do the job you asked for it to do? The Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) protects New Zealanders by ensuring that products and services purchased do the job they are supposed to.

Kate has a family of 7 and does on average 3 loads of laundry a day. On recommendation from the salesman, Kate purchased a 10kg washing machine. For the first few months, Kate was really happy with her purchase. However, a year later the washing machine began struggling to wash even smaller 5kg loads.

After contacting the seller, they agreed to repair the washing machine free of charge. But 6 months after the repair, Kate noticed that the washing machine was, again, doing a poor job of cleaning clothes.

What can Kate do?

Kate had relied on the knowledge of the salesperson to help her choose a new washing machine and the product she purchased wasn’t performing for the purpose she had asked for it to.

Fit for purpose means that products must be fit for a particular purpose you have told the seller or they tell you the product is suitable for.

In this scenario, Kate has used her new washing machine exactly the way she described to the retailer. Reasonably she can expect her washing machine to last longer than a year. After an unsuccessful repair, Kate can go back to the retailer and request a refund or a replacement.

The Consumer Guarantees Act in a nutshell

  • Both buyers and sellers are protected under the Consumer Guarantees Act.
  • The CGA gives you rights when you buy both goods and services for personal use. 
  • If you’ve bought something from a New Zealand business, you are protected by law.

Power up on the Consumer Guarantees Act