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'You break, you pay' policies

If a consumer breaks a product while shopping, a store may ask them to pay for it.  This is because the store has lost the opportunity to sell the product they are effectively making a claim for damages against the consumer.  This type of situation is not covered by the Australian Consumer Law.  To dispute the store’s claim, the consumer should seek legal advice.

Related information

Updated: 27 May 2020

This page has been produced and published by the Consumer Building and Occupational Services Division of the Department of Justice. Although every care has been taken in production, no responsibility is accepted for the accuracy, completeness, or relevance to the user's purpose of the information. Those using it for whatever purpose are advised to verify it with the relevant government department, local government body or other source and to obtain any appropriate professional advice. The Crown, its officers, employees and agents do not accept liability however arising, including liability for negligence, for any loss resulting from the use of or reliance upon the information and/or reliance on its availability at any time.