You had to make me look it up, didn't you?
So - let's turn to our first reference: The Australian Consumer Law: A Framework Overview (PDF). This refers to prizes on page 2 (page 13 of the document), which states in part under the heading Unfair Practices that:
Part 1 of Chapter 3 of the ACL sets out specific protections against certain defined business practices. Unlike the general protections in Chapter 2 of the ACL, these provisions are targeted at specific kinds of activities that can be particularly detrimental, such as:
* this 'n' that;
* failing to supply gifts and prizes, or not supplying them as offered;
Helpful stuff, no? So what does Australian Consumer Law (ACL) actually say? And where? Well, the foreword of this overview states on page v (4 in the PDF - I have no idea who did their counting) that:
The ACL was implemented through enactment of the Trade Practices Amendment (Australian Consumer Law) Act (No. 1) 2010 and the Trade Practices Amendment (Australian Consumer Law) Act (No 2) 2010. The full text of the ACL is set out in Schedule 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA).
Ah. No worries, then. Let's go to https://www.legislation.gov.au and see what the Act says. The current compilation of the CCA as at time of writing is available online, for physical purchase, or as a download in PDF, DOCX and ZIP formats (I have not checked what file format is contained within the ZIP). If you choose to download the file, you want Volume 3 in order to see the schedules (as above, we need Schedule 2).
Please note that as at writing, there are three amendments to the Act that have not been incorporated in the version I am reading. I have not examined these to see whether they change the relevant section, but it's a big piece of law that covers lots of stuff.
So what does the law say about prizes? For this, we turn first to Schedule 2 - The Australian Consumer Law. This commences on page 93 of the PDF. Future references to it need to be taken as being within 'schedule 2' - I'm not going to repeat it each time.
Section 32 deals with unfair practices relating to "Offering rebates, gifts, prizes etc.". In summary:
- If you offer a price, you must provide it as offered and in a reasonable time.
- There are a few exceptions, none of which are relevant to the current discussion.
Section 154 details offences relating to unfair practices, in specific regarding "Offering rebates, gifts, prizes etc.". It says:
- If you don't do what you said you do, it's an offence.
- This is the penalty.
- Here are some exceptions.
TL;DR? There is nothing specific in consumer law about a prize-winner's rights to future repairs. I would suggest that there is an implied right in section 32, as the product must be provided and any provision has implicit guarantees.
But wait... there's more. Part 3-2 Division 1 deals with "Consumer guarantees". These include guarantees of title (you now own what has been supplied), undisturbed possession (you now control what has been supplied) and so forth. Section 54 is a "Guarantee as to acceptable quality". It requires that goods you are supplied are of acceptable quality.
Section 59 deals with "Guarantee as to express warranties". S59(1) states that:
"If a person supplies, in trade or commerce, goods to a consumer; and the supply does not occur by way of sale by auction; there is a guarantee that the manufacturer of the goods will comply with any express warranty given or made by the manufacturer in relation to the goods."
S59(2) goes on to state that:
"If a person supplies, in trade or commerce, goods to a consumer; and the supply does not occur by way of sale by auction; there is a guarantee that the supplier will comply with any express warranty given or made by the supplier in relation to the goods."
This does not mention sale, purchase, gift, or prize. It simply refers to 'supply', and requires that any warranties be respected.
I am not a lawyer, nor am I an expert in consumer law; this is just a summary of what I suggest may be relevant parts of that law. Based upon the summary, I suspect that you have the same rights as someone who purchased the product. Based upon the website upon which I am writing this, I would say that there are probably experts who are able to better advise you. Regardless, I would in your position push for my rights under warranty.
One final note: presumably the Surface Book came with all the standard paperwork, including warranty information and cards to send off? Even if you did not complete this, it presumably comprises an offer to the owner - not to 'the purchaser' - and as such is relevant even to prizewinners.