The industrial textile industry is a wide-spanning network with stakeholders including suppliers, fabricators and consumers. Whilst it is a diverse trade, the industry is unified through the same goal; to bring the best possible result to the Australian market. Therefore, when it comes to warranties, we believe that all parties need to work together to ensure the best outcome is reached.
Roles & responsibilities
In terms of ensuring a result that benefits all parties, we believe that everyone must play their part.
As a supplier, we work directly with the fabricator and therefore do not operate under Australian Consumer Law; however, we have a responsibility to provide textiles solutions that are ‘fit for purpose’. This means that the product supplied is specifically designed to be used for the recommended purpose and is guaranteed to be supplied free of defects. For example, the Nolan Group’s Fit for Purpose statement includes the following;
- ‘Free of Defects’ means that the product meets its published description and specifications, and appears as advertised, bar allowance for any minor manufacturing variance
- The product will perform satisfactorily with ‘Satisfactorily’ meaning it will perform as advertised with the expectation of gradual degradation over its expected life, due to the unavoidable exposure to the elements
- ‘Expected Life’ is the period covered by warranty, provided the product is installed properly, and cleaned and maintained as recommended
Standard warranties only cover replacement product, however, in the event of a product quality issue, the supplier will work directly with the fabricator on a case-by-case basis to provide a reasonable outcome for all involved.
Under the Australian Consumer Law (which was enacted January 2011), a Fabricator, being ‘a supplier and manufacturer of goods’, must guarantee that the finished goods are of ‘acceptable quality’. This means that the final fabricated outcome is a result that a reasonable consumer would find;
- Fit for purpose
- Acceptable in appearance and finish
- Free from defects
- Functions for a reasonable period of time after purchase
In the event of a warranty issue the fabricator will work directly with the consumer to provide a reasonable outcome.
When it comes to warranty claims, whilst Australian Consumer Law is focused on customer protection, it is important to remember that the law is designed to ensure a reasonable and acceptable outcome for all parties involved. With regard to warranty claims, the consumer has the responsibility to,
- Ensure the product is used for the purpose and the environment it is designed for
- Ensure they follow the care & maintenance instructions
On behalf of the Nolan Group we strongly believe that when it comes to warranties, that education is the best preventative. Which is why we continue to develop and supply technical manuals, care & maintenance guides as well as consulting with fabricators and industry associations about best practices. As an industry if we work and learn together, then we have the opportunity to grow together which will benefit all parties involved.