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

 


New consumer protection laws are finally here


Media release: New consumer protection laws are finally here


Consumer NZ is welcoming new consumer protections that come into force on 17 June 2014.

"Long overdue changes to the Consumer Guarantees Act and Fair Trading Act will provide greater protection against unfair practices and dodgy dealers," says Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin.

Key changes include the amendment of the Consumer Guarantees Act to cover goods bought at auction.

"Up until now, goods bought through auction on sites like Trade Me have been excluded from the Act. That's been a windfall for the growing number of traders who use auction websites because they've been able to avoid any responsibility for faulty goods. This won't be able to happen anymore," Ms Chetwin says.

Just like products you buy in "bricks and mortar" stores, goods bought at auction will be covered by the Act, she says.

In addition, online traders will have to disclose whether they're "in trade" so consumers know who they're dealing with.

From 17 June, consumers will also have more protection against retailers who push extended warranties. Retailers will have to tell you what protection their extended warranties provide, over and above the guarantees already provided under the Consumer Guarantees Act.

"Extended warranties have been heavily promoted, often with confusing or misleading information about the benefits they offer. But in many cases, you're paying for protection you already have by law. Retailers now have to tell you about your existing legal rights," says Ms Chetwin.

Consumer NZ is also welcoming changes to door-to-door selling laws that will give consumers five working days to cancel a sale if they change their mind about the purchase. The rule also applies to telemarketing sales.

"We continue to get regular complaints about the high-pressure sales tactics used by door-to-door salespeople. Consumers finally have some extra protection against these traders," says Ms Chetwin.

Other changes to the Fair Trading Act will ban unsubstantiated product claims. This means businesses won't be able to make claims about a product or service if they don't have evidence or reasonable grounds for making the claims.

Businesses will also face substantially tougher penalties for serious breaches of the Fair Trading Act. Maximum penalties for misleading and deceptive conduct, false representations, and unfair practices have increased from $60,000 to $200,000 for individuals and from $200,000 to $600,000 for businesses. Individuals who repeatedly break the law will face banning orders for up to 10 years.

Businesses will also face penalties for failing to comply with the rules relating to door-to-door sales, extended warranties and lay-by sales.

More information on the key law changes is in the June issue of Consumer magazine and online atwww.consumer.org.nz.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half Empty: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations

Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>

ALSO:

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news