How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jared Pereira Your Own Question
Jared Pereira
Jared Pereira, Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 15
Experience:  Principal Solicitor at Pivot Business Lawyers
88780605
Type Your Australia Law Question Here...
Jared Pereira is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I HAVE A ESSA STONE BENCH TOP WHICH HAS CRACKED AND A JOIN

Customer Question

I HAVE A ESSA STONE BENCH TOP WHICH HAS CRACKED AND A JOIN HAS COME APART , I HAVE HAD THE BENCHTOP FOR ABOUT 5 YEARS THE ESSA STONE TOP HAS A 15 YEAR WARRANTY,I CONTACTED THE KICTCHEN MANUFACTURER AND HE TOLD ME TO CONTACT THE MANUFACTURER OF THE BENCH WHICH WAS LAMINEX. LAMINEX DID AN INVESTIGATION AND SAID IT WAS AN INSTALLER PROBLEM.LAMINEX WOULD NOT TELL ME THE OUTCOME OF THEIR INVESTIGATION AND CONTACTED THE INSTALLER. THE INSTALLER CAME OUT, CONDUCTED THEIR OWN INVESTIGATION WHICH HE TOLD ME THAT LAMINEX SAID IT WASN'T A STRUCTURAL PROBLEM AND OFFERED A REPAIR WHICH INCLUDED A BRACE PUT UNDER THE BENCHTOP AND NO GUARRANTEE THAT IT WOULDN'T HAPPEN AGAIN WHICH I WAS NOT HAPPY WITH AND TOLD THEM.PUT IN A COMPLAINT TO THE OFFICE OF FAIR TRADING, AFTER 2 MONTHS THE HAVE TOLD ME THE CASE IS CLOSED AS THE HAVE NO POWER AND CAN'T GIVE THE CONSUMER ANY ADVICE, FOR ME TO GET LEGAL ADVICE AND TAKE THE KICHEN MANUFACTURER TO COURT. I AM CONCERNED ABOUT THE COST AND WONDER IF IT IS WORTH I
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
THE WHOLE PROCESS HAS TAKEN OVER 6 MONTHS AND THE OFFICE OF FAIR TRADING TOOK 2 MONTHS AND HAVE CLOSED THE CAS WITH NO RESOLUTION
Expert:  Jared Pereira replied 1 year ago.

Hi there my name is ***** ***** I'm a solicitor. Apart from the office of fair trading, you can also make your claim at QCAT, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal if your claim is less than $25,000, which seems likely. The cost of making such an application at QCAT ranges from $23.80 to $305 depending on the amount you are claiming. Under the Australian Consumer Law, you may have the right to claim against the installer, the supplier and the manufacturer (or all three), in particular if the goods supplied were faulty or there has been a breach of a warranty. Your claim must be made within 6 years of the discovery of the fault. You don't need to be represented by a lawyer at QCAT. The process is quite simple - you lodge your application and pay the fee, then they will set a date for mediation (if the claim is less than $3000 there will skip this step) and then they will set the matter down for hearing. The procedure is quite informal and they will let you know what documents and evidence you need to provide. More information can be found here: http://www.qcat.qld.gov.au/matter-types/consumer-and-trader-disputes I hope this has been of assistance. If you're happy with the answer, please remember to rate my response. Good luck and best regards, Jared.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do you rate my chances, I would like an indication if i have a legitimate claim looking at the timeframe and I rejected the offer of the cosmetic fix, i understand I can go to QCAT and the OFT said i need to take the manufacturer of the kitchen to court rather than the installer and Laminex, i need clearer advice
Expert:  Jared Pereira replied 1 year ago.

Hi, it appears you may have a legitimate claim under section 54(1) of the Australian Consumer Law. The section relates to statutory consumer guarantees. S 54(1) imposes strict liability on suppliers of goods, and they will be liable if the goods supplied are not of acceptable quality (even if the supplier was in no way to blame for the fault). So if the manufacturer is the one that supplied the benchtop to you, it would be easier to take them to QCAT. Under the consumer guarantees, the goods (in this case your benchtop) must be:

(a) fit for all the purposes for which they are sold;

(b) acceptable in appearance and finish;

(c) free from defects;

(d) safe; and

(e) durable.

You would argue that the cracking of a benchtop and the failure of a join within only 5 years of normal use, means that all of these requirements were not met. The fact that you rejected an offer of repair is not fatal to your case, since you would argue that the offer of repair would not cure the requirements above, since the repairer could not restore it to an appropriate state.

I would think you had a good arguable case against the manufacturer, and given the low cost of accessing the QCAT system, definitely worth an attempt. If you succeed at QCAT, they can impose a civil penalty on the supplier, and/or order damages or compensation to be paid to you. Often, the very act of lodging a matter with QCAT will 'encourage' the supplier to settle the case. Hope this is of assistance. Regards, Jared

Expert:  Jared Pereira replied 1 year ago.

Have I answered your question? If any part of my response is unclear, please let me know. It’s my goal to deliver excellent service, so please let me know if there is anything more I can do. Thank you for using our site, and please remember to rate my answer. Regards, Jared