- Decide on a suitable remedy – be consistent with Australian Consumer Law remedies.
- Plan how you will recall products that have been sold second-hand.
- This includes any products that contain a recalled part. Give instructions to the supply chain about the remedy.
- Plan how you will dispose of the affected product or faulty part.
Select a suitable remedy
Your recall remedy can offer to:
- repair the product to remove the hazard
- replace the product with a similar one that doesn’t have the hazard
- refund the full amount paid when the product is returned
- issue warning labels or updated instructions about how to use the product safely
- arrange a software patch or update.
When you recall a product, plan how you’ll:
- have the product returned and/or disposed of
- supply the remedy
- make it easy for consumers to receive the remedy
- complete the process in a timely manner
- keep proper records to show all steps in the recall.
Consider consumer guarantees when selecting a remedy
Consumer guarantees give consumers rights that the products they buy are safe, durable, free from defects and do what consumers normally expect them to do, among others.
Where there is a failure to meet a consumer guarantee, a consumer is entitled to a remedy.
Your remedies should be consistent with the consumer guarantees. This extends to covering reasonable costs that consumers incur when returning a product.
Consumer guarantees cannot be taken away by anything a business says or does. This can include a business putting a specific time limit on when a consumer can seek a remedy.
Offering a remedy under a recall does not remove the consumer’s rights to an alternative remedy under the consumer guarantees in the Australian Consumer Law.
If there is a major failure to meet a consumer guarantee, including if the goods are not of acceptable quality because they are unsafe, consumers can reject the goods and ask for a replacement or refund. The supplier must give a full refund if the consumer chooses it and cannot scale down the refund. For example, reduce the refund based on age or condition of the product.
If we think your proposed remedies are insufficient or unsuitable, or if a remedy is not offered at all, we will contact you about other remedies to supply to consumers under the recall.
See Consumer rights and guarantees and Repair, replace, refund, cancel for more information about the remedies that you are required to provide.
Make it easy to receive a remedy
Keep the recall process simple – minimise the number of steps for consumers to receive a repair, replacement or refund. Make sure the remedy is suited to the product.
Some options to consider:
- Ask consumers to return the product to the place of purchase or take the product to a repairer.
- Organise a courier service to collect the product – this is useful for large products.
- Send a prepaid envelope or reply paid package that the customer can use to return the product.
- If partial disassembly is easy and safe, ask consumers to return a small, but significant part of the product so it cannot be used. Then give a refund. Make sure the part is allowed to be sent by mail.
- Ask consumers to destroy part of the product and supply photographic evidence, only if it is safe and easy for them to do so.
- If items are large or bulky, send a technician to repair onsite or remove the product and fix any damage to the property that was caused by the removal. Consider setting up collection or repair dates and times for the consumer to choose.
- For simple repairs only, send repair parts and detailed instructions for consumers to follow when it is safe to do so. Give consumers detailed instructions – preferably illustrated – that explain how to conduct the simple repair. Provide any hardware and tools needed for the repair. Offer an alternative for those consumers who are unable to do the repair themselves.
- Send out updated instructions on how to use the product safely. Confirm these have been received by the consumer.
- If you are recalling a product because the product did not meet a mandatory standard labelling requirement, supply labelling information to your consumers, but also give the option for a refund or replacement.
- Offer an extra incentive, such as a gift or discount voucher, as well as the recall remedy. This option is suited to low value products, where a suitable alternative is more expensive than the affected product, or where consumers may decide to continue to use the product instead of returning it.
You must continue to provide remedies for your affected product for as long as the recall is open and incomplete.
Suppliers are responsible for covering reasonable costs that consumers may incur when seeking a remedy. This can include prepaid envelopes or courier services.
Tell the ACCC if you change your remedy so we can consider whether it is suitable. We may update your recall notice on the Product Safety Australia website.
What to do when a remedy is not yet available
Minimise the wait time for consumers to receive a remedy – the longer you take, the less likely consumers will respond to the recall.
Sometimes it takes time for parts to be available to repair the product. In this case, be open and upfront with your consumers:
- Give interim updates on your website about the unsafe product what are the potential consequences of using the product, and when the final remedy will likely be available
- Ask consumers to register their details with you so you can tell them about any updates including when a remedy becomes available
- Let consumers know what they should do until the product is repaired, such as how to continue to use the product safely before parts are available or if consumers should stop using the product immediately. You may also need to offer an interim arrangement such as loaning them a replacement product.
Send us your recall notification even if you haven’t decided the remedy yet.
If you used an online marketplace to supply a product that you have recalled, the marketplace may be able to help you with contacting consumers about the recall and supporting consumers to receive a remedy.