Explain what consumer guarantees may be available to Stan.

Scenario

Fact Scenario

Stan is a regular visitor to a local MacBig restaurant that provides a self-service facility where customers have the option of selecting drink and food items from a menu displayed on a touch screen located just inside the entrance. To select a product, a customer only has to touch an image or icon showing the desired product or products they wish to consume, and then touch a virtual ‘OK’ button to submit an order. The order is relayed to the food preparation area where the customer’s order is prepared. Once prepared MacBig’s front counter staff are made aware the order is ready and the customer’s ticket number is displayed on a large screen which symbolises their order is ready for collection.

Customers using the touch screen are immediately issued with a printed ticket containing an order number and the price payable at the front counter.

Customers present these tickets to the cashiers who confirm the relayed order appearing on their screens. At this point, the customers pay for their purchases and await delivery.

This system is designed to save time during peak periods and is very popular. Some customers place their orders as takeaways, while others, like Stan, prefer to be seated and consume them on the premises. The customers preselect these preferences when they use the touch screen.

When Stan reached the cashier, he paid $10 for the hamburger and drink, collected his order located a vacant table and enjoyed a leisurely meal.

A couple of days later, Stan returned and instead of his normal meal decided to order the new gourmet burger and hand cut chips. The order was placed through the self-service ordering system. The total cost was $17.50 which he duly paid. Following the payment being processed Stan received the normal printed ticket which included his order number, order and price.

Stan’s order number appeared on the screen, and after collecting the order Stan found a vacant table and started to eat his meal. As Stan took a second bite of his gourmet burger he struck something hard and broke a tooth. Stan examined the chewed remains and found a piece of metal that had somehow been lodged in the burger.

Stan alerted management to this incident and demanded compensation for his anticipated dental repair. The store claimed that they would refund the price of the burger but would not pay anything more.

In response, Stan exclaimed, ‘I’m a consumer and I have rights!’

 

 

Required

Please prepare a memorandum of advice that covers the following:

 

 

Part A

Explain how the contracts Stan made with the café were formed.

  • You will need to address all the essential elements of a contract (including consideration) as well as analyse the legal status of each step or event that led to the café supplying Stan with its products. Refer to relevant case law. In this part, do not discuss the impact, if any, of consumer protection laws.

 

Part B

Explain what consumer guarantees may be available to Stan.

  • For the purposes of this part you should consider both common law as well as consumer protection legislation (confirming whether Stan qualifies as a ‘consumer’).
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