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Know your rights as a consumer

March 31, 2020 April 2020 No Comments

The Fair Trading Act applies to anyone in trade. The Consumer Guarantees Act applies when you have purchased a good or service normally bought for personal use.

Fair Trading Act –  makes it illegal for :  businesses to mislead consumers , give false information ,  use unfair trading practices and  covers all aspects of the promotion and sale of goods and services / anything said about a product or service either verbally or in writing / any impressions given by pictures , advertisements or promotional material.

Consumer Guarantees Act – guarantees that goods or services should be :  acceptable quality /  fit for purpose / match their description / be delivered as agreed , if no time period has been set, within a reasonable time / match the sample or demonstration model / be sold by a trader who has the right to sell them / be supported by available spare parts and repair facilities.  Services must be provided with reasonable care and skill / fit for purpose / provided within a reasonable time / provided at a reasonable price .

Pricing – you have the right to expect that price claims are clear & accurate including for “Sales” (pricing comparisons & markdowns) , that GST is included in the price or if not that it is made clear to you , that any surcharges are made clear  .

Buying and Selling Online – previously buying online meant that you were not covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act but now all traders who advertise or sell to New Zealand consumers online must :  make it clear that they are in trade / ensure any representations made about the good or service are accurate & do not mislead or deceive consumers / have a reasonable basis for any claims they make about their products or services / comply with the product safety & consumer information standards where relevant and not sell any goods prohibited by an unsafe goods notice / ensure that delivery terms are clear &  can be met 

A trader being “in trade” means you are protected under both the Fair Trading Act and the Consumer Guarantees Act.

You must ensure you keep your receipt and go back to the trader and try to resolve any problem with them first but if that doesn’t work :  for Fair Trading Act breaches ,report it to the Commerce Commission on 0800 943 600 or use the online complaint form  www.comcom.govt.nz/online-complaint-form  or write to PO Box 2351 , Wellington 6140 or email contact@comcom.govt.nz  

This Act does not apply to private sales 


The Commerce Commission is not able to enforce the Consumers Guarantees Act; you need to take your own private action , recommended as through the Disputes Tribunal but you can find more about your rights under the CGA at   www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz or ask us at Wairarapa CAB to print out this info for you .





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