The Law Says: You Cannot Void A Warranty With Third-Party Repairs
The current Right To Repair debate involves many factors, one of which involves the copyright around things like repair manuals, the IP of a certain design, and other complicated laws.
But a major factor that has been misunderstood for years, is that, regardless of how a warranty is worded, or how many scary warnings they have, you cannot void a warranty by having an item repaired by a third-party operator.
Under current consumer law (passed in 2010), warranties are required to include the following wording:
“Our goods come with guarantees that cannot be excluded under the Australian Consumer Law. You are entitled to a replacement or refund for a major failure and compensation for any other reasonably foreseeable loss or damage. You are also entitled to have the goods repaired or replaced if the goods fail to be of acceptable quality and the failure does not amount to a major failure.”
One of these guarantees that “cannot be excluded” is that Australian Consumer Law does not require consumers to use authorised repair services or spare parts in order to keep their product warranty.
That above section is in the recent ‘Right To Repair’ draft report, by the Productivity Commission. One of its recommendations is to amend this murky understanding:
“The Australian Government should amend r. 90 of the Competition and Consumer Regulations 2010, to require manufacturer warranties (‘warranties against defect’) on goods to include text (located in a prominent position in the warranty) stating that entitlements to consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law do not require consumers to use authorised repair services or spare parts.”