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

 


Consulting on guidelines about unfair contract terms

Commission consulting on guidelines about unfair contract terms

The Commerce Commission has today released draft guidelines on the new provisions of the Fair Trading Act dealing with unfair contract terms. The unfair contract terms provisions were part of recent amendments to New Zealand’s consumer law and will come into force on 17 March 2015.

"The guidelines set out the Commission’s intended approach to enforcing the new provisions. We are holding this consultation well in advance of March 2015, as we want to make sure businesses have plenty of time to run a ruler over their current consumer contracts and get ahead of any issues," said Commerce Commission Chairman Dr Mark Berry.

Unfair contract terms relate to clauses in standard form consumer contracts. The main hallmarks of these contracts are that the terms have been offered to the consumer on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis, and the contracts relate to goods and services that are usually for personal use.

“A wide number of businesses use standard form consumer contracts, including finance companies, retirement villages, gyms, telecommunications companies and utilities like electricity and gas. We welcome feedback from businesses on our draft guidelines. But as the new laws will also have an impact on consumers, we encourage feedback from them too,” said Dr Berry.

The Commission invites submissions from interested parties on the draft guidelines. Submissions should be sent touctconsult@comcom.govt.nz by 5pm on 30 September 2014.

The Commission expects to release the final guidelines by the end of November 2014.

The draft Unfair Contract Terms Guidelines can be viewed on the Commission’s website athttp://www.comcom.govt.nz/fair-trading/guidelines/ .

Background

Unfair contract terms will be prohibited in all standard form consumer contracts entered into after 17 March 2015, and also in those contracts (except insurance contracts) that are renewed or varied after that date.

The unfair contract terms provisions allow the Commission to seek a declaration from a court that a term in a standard form consumer contract is unfair. While only the Commission can apply for a declaration, any person may file a complaint with the Commission on any contract.

The court may declare a term unfair if it is satisfied that the term:

• would cause a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations arising under the contract; and

• is not reasonably necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the party who would be advantaged by the term; and

• would cause some detriment (whether financial or otherwise) to the other party if applied, enforced or relied on.


Some terms cannot be declared unfair. These are terms that:

• define the main subject matter of the contract;

• set the upfront price payable under the contract, to the extent that the terms are transparent; and/or

• are required or expressly permitted by any enactment.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Bad Day For Rope: Donaghys Job Losses Another Blow To Dunedin

The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. More>>

ALSO:

Oil: 2014 New Zealand Petroleum Summit

Simon Bridges: Our abundance of energy and minerals resources provides us with unique opportunities to build the New Zealand economy.

Over the past three years the Government has made significant changes to how the sector is regulated. More>>

ALSO:

WWF Report: Solutions In Reach; World Biodiversity Suffers Major Decline

Global wildlife populations have declined by more than half in just 40 years as measured in WWF's Living Planet Report 2014. Wildlife's continued decline highlights the need for sustainable solutions to heal the planet... More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Catches Breath After "Goldilocks" Slump

The New Zealand dollar edged up following its dramatic slump yesterday after the Reserve Bank confirmed speculation it intervened in the currency market last month and PM John Key suggested a “Goldilocks” level far lower than at present. More>>

ALSO:

Biosecurity: Kiwifruit Claim To Hold Officials Accountable For Psa

Kiwifruit growers have joined forces to hold Biosecurity NZ accountable in the courts for its negligence in allowing 2010’s Psa outbreak that devastated New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry and exports. Foundation claimants representing well ... More>>

ALSO:

Poison: Anglers Advised Not To Eat Trout In 1080 Areas

With the fishing season opening in just a few days (1 October 2014), anglers are being warned by the Department of Conservation(DOC) not to eat trout from pristine backcountry waters and their downstream catchments, where the department is conducting 1080 poisoning operations. More>>.

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news