Faulty microwave

I purchased a Sharp Inverter Sensor microwave 16/11/2018. I live in a small open plan kitchen/lounge/dining unit and a few weeks ago I could hear a crackling sound, but couldn’t identify where from. I went to use the microwave and found the sound was coming from the unit, so switched it off, hoping it was a simple problem, and that the system would reset itself. Turned it on the next morning and the noise was gone, so used it. After it had finished, the noise started again. Turned it off, then on again the next day. Same story, except this time it shorted the switch electrical circuit in the unit. Obviously, I haven’t turned it on again.

My question is do I take it back to the Good Guys, who I purchased it from, or do I need to contact the manufacturer. I cannot find the receipt, which I usually keep, but found the item on my bank statement.

I would like to know where I stand on this issue, before I take it back to the Good Guys.

Thank you, Helen


Hi Helen

Always go back to the retailer (The Good Guys) first aways.

It should still be within the manufacturers warranty being being only 16 months old. If there is only a one year warranty, you still have the statutory warranty as a microwave should last more than 16 months.

The Good Guys are now part of JB HiFi, and both are pretty good at complying with the ACL, so you shouldn’t hav too much trouble getting a repair or replacement.

For more information have a look at Choice: What to do with a faulty product.


Thank you for the prompt reply. Can I ask for a replacement first, or do I have to wait for the repair results


On the link I sent you, have a look at Major Failure, fourth dot point which is

  • The product is unsafe. For example: your new toaster sends out sparks when you switch it on

I think that your microwave was unsafe because of the sparking electrical hazard and blowing your circuit. For a major failure, you can request your choice of a refund, replacement or repair (if possible) from the business.


Thank you for that. Your help is really appreciated


Hi Meltam,

Went back to The Good Guys yesterday afternoon (1.30-2.00) with the microwave, spoke to a young man, who looked up and found my purchase on their system, then was told the warranty had expired and I would have to pay for the microwave to be repaired. I told him that 16 months was not a reasonable period of time for a product to last and that I should be able to have a usable product for the assumed life of that product. I also mentioned that if the microwave caused the switch circuit in the unit to be tripped by the microwave, it would be considered a major fault. He then consulted a lady behind the front desk, who agreed with him that I should pay for it to be repaired. I took my microwave back home.


BTW, I was offered an extended warranty at the time of purchase. I told the salesman that under consumer law I should not need this. He stated that he was told to offer it when he sold a new product


Can you remember how much you paid for the microwave. If it was over say $150-200, one would expect many years of fault free use.

In relation to warranties, they are only stating the manufacturer’s warranty. There is also the Australian Consumer Guarantee which doesn’t have a timeframe, but more about how long a reasonable person would expect a product to last. If you microwave was about $150-200, The Good Guys can’t fob you off saying that it is outside the manufacturer warranty period…and they should be providing a resolution under the Australian Consumer Law. The ACL rights override anything that a manufacturer may offer.

I would be formally lodging a complaint with The Good Guys about the microwave and that a reasonable person would expect a microwave to last more than 16 months. Also state that under the Australian Consumer Law you have a right to a remedy…which may be a repair or in some cases, a refund.

The ACCC and Choice website has information about how to formally lodge a complaint. The ACCC link is here:

and the Choice website"


Thank you for the links. I am so peeved with the response I got I will be lodging a formal complaint.

I paid $229 for the microwave on 16th November 2018


@helenws, Please note that talking about getting something repaired is idle chit chat in the context of the ACL and getting your problem resolved.

‘My microwave is only 16 months old and is broken. I would like it fixed because it should last more than 16 months.’

You will need to use formal words and references, citing the ACL, and if you are not aware a number of Harvey Normal franchisees have been fined significant sums for misrepresenting consumers rights. They are linked and referenced on the .community in various topics.

‘I bought the microwave on 16 Nov 2018 that had a 12 months manufacturers warranty that cannot reduce or override my consumer rights under the Australian Consumer Law. The ACL states a product should have a lifetime that reflects its type and cost. A $229 microwave reflects a product and price range that should deliver more than 16 months reliable service, noting the average life of a microwave is 7 years with 4 to 5 being the lower end for one heavily used. I claim that … and require a replacement or refund under the ACL, with your response by … I shall necessarily follow with a complaint to the [state fair trading agency] should you not respond favourably.’

I think you get the difference, and how the shop has to respond to the latter while the former was just ‘talk’. I hope this is helpful to understand why you would have been fobbed off if you did not reference specifics; if you did reference specifics you want to deal with the franchisee/owner/shop manager if your conversation was not with one of those roles already. If it was, make sure everything is in writing with a history, including all conversations noted and logged in real time; you should ask them to read your notes and correct anything they do not agree with as part of the process to assure no disagreement on anything promised or refused along the way.

Good luck with it.


How times have changed! My microwave is still going I bought it in 1983 yes that’s right nineteen eighty three.
My kids have been through at least two each in their adult lives. It’s an Hitachi! They would be out of business by now if they had continued making them that way!


Had to take some time off from this issue, as I have a cyst on spine and it became a problem sitting in front of the computer. Was able to get back to it a few weeks ago, took your advice, removed the ‘chit chat’ in my email to the store on 22/5/20, set a deadline for a response of 29/5/20, and received a call from the manager on 26/5/20. He requested I drop the unit in for the service department to look at, and advised he would send it to a repair service The Good Guys use to see if they could repair it. On the 28/5/20 he said the unit had been repaired and was ready for me to pick up, which I did within the hour. Took it home, plugged it in, and it still made a noise. I emailed back that day stating, " I now require a replacement or refund under the ACL, with your response by 4th June 2020". He rang today requesting I bring it into the store so that he could hear it, which I will do.

Questions: as I will request a refund or replacement, if he decides to give me a replacement, should I pay the extra $20 or so for the difference in the price from then till now?
If he suggests it goes back for another repair, can I refuse that option, based on the quality of the 1st ‘repair’?

Thank you, Helen


No. There should be no money exchange, on microwaves exchanged. If you negotiate say for a different microwave as a replacement and its price was more, then you would need to pay the difference.

The first ‘repair’ may have seen if it worked and not the ‘noise’. If the noise is unusual for that model of microwave, then you may have to accept another repair as an option. As you have been back to forth from their store a few times, see if they can deliver it to you after the second ‘repair’.


Thanks for the update @helenws and well done standing up for your rights.

The relevant ACCC page is here.

If the business fails to give you a free repair within a reasonable time or cannot fix your problem, you can:

  • get it done elsewhere and pass on the costs to the business
  • ask for a replacement
  • ask for a refund
  • recover compensation for the drop in value below the price paid

To the problem, a probable (possible?) electrical issue is not a trivial matter and you might claim it is a major problem since it may be hazardous. Any appliance that trips a breaker is not right. Remind the shop if you are electrocuted they could be liable having claimed ‘it was fixed’. In your place I would hang my hat on it being an electrical fault and ask for a replacement unit of the same make and model or a 100% trade value on another microwave rather than asking for a refund because you want a microwave and businesses are usually more amenable to minimising their loss than giving you your money back, hence a better chance of success with lesser effort.

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Thank you BBG for that info. Even though I read the document on faulty products, I always feel more confident about what to say to them after our chats, so thank you for your patience.

I took the microwave back to The Good Guys on 4/6/20 and the manager wanted to send it back again to the repairer, on the basis that he had paid the repairer for a repair that had not resolved the problem. Have not heard back from him as yet.

I have one last question regarding the internal light in the microwave that since it played up is now only half as bright as it was before it tripped the switch circuit. I mentioned this to the manager when I returned it this time, and he dismissed it as a consumable and, therefore, not his concern.

Having read the document on faulty products, I know that under the ACL consumables are not covered, however, as the light was not a problem before tripping the switch circuit, where do I stand on ‘cause and effect’ with the light?

Thank you, Helen

That is not your problem, it is his problem. He is essentially fobbing you off as I interpret what is happening. Worse, reads dodgy as. The Good Guys is liable for your product problem, and it is their responsibility to step up to resolve it. ‘His’ repairman could also have voided the warranty unless he is an authorised warranty service centre! If he was an authorised repair centre it would be covered under warranty, not being paid by the Good Guys manager.

Have you handed him a formal letter of complaint yet? Talking is insufficient and in the process is nothing but chit chat.

I am only familiar with globes that light or do not light. Going dimmer seems to be that the voltage is lower than it previously was. I am not familiar with replacing lights in microwaves but it could be a standard base. Regardless, I would not accept that it is a consumables problem unless he could demonstrate the light is the same brightness in another unit or when put in a lamp, as it is in yours.

When you get it back check the light brightness as well as for crackling noises or electrical smells. If there is anything you are uncomfortable with and have not done ‘the letter’, do the letter and get a replacement or a refund; at that point it was twice ‘fixed’ but not fixed and you could claim it is a major failure.

Ask for the warranty to be reaffirmed in writing including by the manufacturer if it was not serviced by an authorised warranty centre. Anything less, they have damaged your microwave as well as diminished its value via warranty issues.

I trust you can understand this is not how it should have gone.

Personally I would avoid that Good Guys store in future unless you had no choice for appliances. In contrast my Good Guys has been impeccable (Northland, Melbourne) taking care of worries.


Thank you again BBG.

As you stated, the light either works, or it doesn’t, therein my concern. His dismissal of it as a consumable left me feeling very ‘dismissed’. Regarding the repairer and the warranty, he stated that it was a Sharp repairer, so the warranty should not be voided. I will make a point of asking the name of the repairer.

I have always communicated my complaint via emails to The Good Guys so that I had a record of correspondence to the manager, however, I have never received a reply to those emails, only phone calls.

If the current repair comes back with the internal light still dim, I will take your advice and tell him the dimness suggests a voltage problem and that I want a replacement of the same model, which, according to their website, they still sell, or a refund. If he still procrastinates, I will advise him I am taking the matter up with the ACCC.

Thank you (again), Helen


The 'Letter of Complaint’ tool is the gold standard for dealing with product issues.

I suspect you are on to him.

Does this remind you of the ‘lady who takes her car to a repair shop’ and they sell and charge her for all sorts of things necessary as well as unnecessary, done and not done, since ‘she will never know’?

Please let us know how it goes. Cheers, Phil

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Will do. Thanks heaps

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Just document what transpired in the phone calls. Make a note of the date, time, who you spoke to and a summary of what was said. It is very important to write objectively (without emotion) and without making inferences to what was said.

It seems that the microwave may have a power supply, controller issue or a loose connection somewhere if the light is fluctuating and it is making strange noises/tripping the circuit breaker/safety switch.