Dick Smith customers should try for a chargeback — Consumer boss

Customers rights with gift vouchers, deposits and extended warranties.

NBR asked Consumer chief executive Sue Chetwin to clarify the situation for Dick Smith customers in a number of areas.

NBR: The receivers say they won't honour gift cards. A number of readers have asked if they are legally entitled to take that position. Are they?

Chetwin: Once a business goes into receivership new rules apply (and there is probably something in the terms and conditions of either the company or the vouchers to that effect – so yes it can refuse to honour gift cards and vouchers.

NBR: What about deposits?

Chetwin: With deposits it’s a slightly different story. If people paid the deposits with their credit cards I suggest they contact their bank for a “chargeback”. There’s a non-supply of merchandise rule which means people might be entitled to get their deposits back.

NBR: What about extended warranties? (Like many consumer electronics retailers, Dick Smith sold extended warranties -- dubious territory given the Consumer Guarantees Act means goods must be repaired if they do not last a reasonable period of time, regardless whether the manufacturer or retailer says they have a one year warrant or whatever arbitrary limit they try to put in place on their liability. Note that the CGA only applies to purchases by consumers, not goods bought for a business).

Chetwin: For extended warranties, if the warranties are held by a company other than Dick Smith — and I think the company is an Australasian warranty company* — then the extended warranties should still stand.

* It is. Dick Smith extended warranties are administered by The Warranty Group Australasia Pty Ltd, according to Dick Smith's terms & conditions.

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