Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Fines for ‘Trade Register’ company and director

15 December 2004

$15,000 in fines for ‘Trade Register’ company and director

A company that targeted over 17,500 tradespeople throughout New Zealand inviting them to sign up to the New Zealand Trade Register, has been fined $10,500 plus $910 costs for making misleading claims under the Fair Trading Act. Its sole director, Gary John Solah has also been fined $4,500 plus $3260 costs.

Judge Kerr issued a reserved judgment in September this year, finding Trade Registrations NZ Limited and Mr Solah guilty on 10 charges of breaching the Act. They were sentenced in the Christchurch District Court this morning.

The Commerce Commission investigated the company in 2003 following concerns that the scheme was misleading businesses into believing they were required to sign up to what was a Government-run, or Government-endorsed register for a fee of $174 +GST. The Commission was particularly concerned that Trade Registrations appeared to be targeting businesses in the building and construction industries at a time in which there was widespread discussion about Government-initiated registers.

In May and June 2003, as part of its investigation, the Commission intercepted $56,644 worth of cheques, which have since been returned to the businesses concerned.

Chair Paula Rebstock said that Trade Registrations promoted the New Zealand Trade Register as an online solution to help all sectors access quality trade services. The company sent official-looking unsolicited letters with registration forms, inviting businesses to register. “In the Commission’s view, it was the defendants’ total approach to establish the appearance of an official process that would appear convincing to the consumers that it targeted – that consumers would think that registration and payment was something that was required.” Ms Rebstock said the Commission was concerned about what appeared to be an increase in overseas operators moving into the New Zealand market for short periods of time for the sole purpose of setting up misleading or deceptive schemes. In this case, Solah is based in Thailand and has run similar schemes in Australia and several other countries.

“Without the Commission’s intervention, the scheme could easily have made $400,000. The Commission will continue to take action where it can, but businesses need to remain vigilant and need to thoroughly check any offers made to them.”

In his reserved judgment, Judge Kerr said that given the number of forms businesses are required to complete for various government departments as well as the pressures of running a business, an office could hardly be blamed for assuming an official looking document needed to be completed and a cheque sent to the address given.

The defendants were also found guilty of charges relating to misleading claims made on the New Zealand Trade Register website that businesses listed on the site had been assessed against and found to have met quality standards, when this was not the case.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

I Sing The Highway Electric: Charge Net NZ To Connect New Zealand

BMW is turning Middle Earth electric after today announcing a substantial contribution to the charging network Charge Net NZ. This landmark partnership will enable Kiwis to drive their electric vehicles (EVs) right across New Zealand through the installation of a fast charging highway stretching from Kaitaia to Invercargill. More>>

ALSO:

Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>

Earlier:

Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>

ALSO:

Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>

ALSO:

Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>

ALSO:

Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news