CONCERNS about manufacturer warranties and the servicing and repair of agricultural machinery are the focus of a discussion paper released today by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC).
The ACCC has also launched an online survey seeking farmers’ feedback about their experiences.
The discussion paper ‘Agricultural machinery: After-sales markets’ identifies a number of initial concerns relating to competition and fair trading issues:
- access to independent agricultural machinery repairs is limited
- farmers may lack recourse in the event of a problem with their machinery
- agreements between manufacturers and dealers may limit access to repairs
- data ownership and management may raise privacy and competition concerns.
The work behind the discussion paper was initiated in response to concerns raised with the ACCC by stakeholders during the Australian Consumer Law Review, and by the ‘right to repair’ debate occurring in the United States.
The ACCC has set out to gain a better understanding of how the agricultural machinery industry operates, while focusing on key issues that have come to our attention relating to manufacturer warranties, and servicing and repairs.
Since April 2018, the commission has consulted with various stakeholders at the farmer, dealer and industry body level about their experiences in relation to purchasing and repairing agricultural machinery.
It has also sought additional information from manufacturers of several machinery brands commonly sold in Australia.
The ACCC is seeking further information and feedback from stakeholders, via a survey and submissions, to better understand the extent of the concerns identified.
How to make a submission
Stakeholders are encouraged to make a submission in response to the discussion paper via the consultation hub at: Agricultural machinery: after-sales markets – discussion paper.
As an alternative or in addition to making a submission, farmers or other purchasers of agricultural machinery can respond to the agricultural machinery purchaser survey at: Purchasers of agricultural machinery survey.
Alternatively, submissions can be made via post to:
Agricultural Machinery Project
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
GPO Box 3131
Canberra, ACT 2601
To provide information over the phone or ask questions, contact the agricultural machinery team at [email protected].