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

 


Godfrey Hirst Cleans Up Carpet Industry


Godfrey Hirst Cleans Up Carpet Industry
News Release

Godfrey Hirst New Zealand Limited said today the Court of Appeal has allowed its appeal and confirmed that a High Court judgment it obtained in July 2013 against Cavalier Bremworth over misleading warranties did not go far enough to protect consumer interests.

Godfrey Hirst General Manager, Tania Pauling said: "We are pleased that the Court of Appeal has agreed that the High Court underestimated the extent to which Cavalier's conduct was likely to mislead consumers. The Court has found that the headline statements in Cavalier Bremworth's advertising gave consumers a false impression of the value of these warranties, given the large number of conditions and exclusions.

We expect that others in the industry will now clean up their act, and stop advertising warranties that promise the earth but are gutted by their fine print. It is wrong to advertise a "soil resistance" warranty that excludes mud, or a "stain resistance" warranty that excludes almost anything that might stain a carpet.

We also believe that this clear decision from the Court of Appeal will be of real value to New Zealand consumers in other retail segments in New Zealand where headline warranties are offered which do not deliver in any meaningful or substantive manner.”

Ms Pauling also thanked the Commerce Commission, who intervened in the appeal because of their concerns over the use of misleading headline advertising, particularly in online advertising and selling.

Ends


Background
Sections 9 and 13 of the Fair Trading Act prohibit a person in trade from undertaking conduct, or making representations, that are false or misleading.
In April 2013 Godfrey Hirst issued proceedings in the High Court in respect of Cavalier Bremworth's misleading advertising of its synthetic carpets, specifically that consumers would wrongly gain the impression that these carpets were supporting by "superb" comprehensive warranties. In fact, the warranties were heavily qualified by terms and conditions.
In July 2013 the High Court found in favour of Godfrey Hirst and ruled that Cavalier Bremworth's website and carpet samples were misleading, although not to the extent that Godfrey Hirst said. The Judge found that Cavalier Bremworth's advertising was misleading because:
Consumers would think that Cavalier Bremworth provided or stood behind the warranties when it did not.

Cavalier Bremworth's advertising of its fade resistance warranty was misleading because it claimed "long lasting resistance against fading from … common house hold cleaners", when the warranty in fact did not cover fading caused by cleaning products.

Cavalier Bremworth's advertising of its abrasive wear warranty was misleading because it claimed the carpet would "spring back to shape and resist crushing" when the warranty in fact excluded damage by crushing.
In August 2013 Godfrey Hirst appealed to the Court of Appeal, arguing that the High Court Judge had not provided clear guidance to the carpet industry, and had providing insufficient protection for consumers, permitting headline advertising with significant "fine print" qualifying statements.
In May 2014 the Court of Appeal allowed the Commerce Commission to intervene in the appeal and make submissions because of the wider implications of the case, and the fact that the Court of Appeal's decision was likely to be used as an important source of general guidance for other persons involved in trade.
The appeal was heard in June 2014. On 27 August 2014 the Court of Appeal allowed Godfrey Hirst's appeal. In doing so the Court of Appeal found that:
The High Court Judge did not apply the appropriate principles for considering headline representations with qualifying information ([60] and [67]).

The dominant message of Cavalier Bremworth's web advertising was misleading because of the preconditions, scope and exclusions contained in the fine print ([80]).

The reference to the existence of terms and conditions, and the inclusion of a link to those terms and conditions, was not enough to prevent the web advertising from misleading consumers ([83]).

Cavalier Bremworth's advertising of its "soil resistance" warranty was misleading as consumers would expect this to cover soiling by mud or pets, and this was excluded in the terms and conditions [75].

Cavalier Bremworth's advertising of its "trusted stain resistance" and "stain resistance" warranty was misleading because of the conditions and exclusions that applied [73], [78], [80] and [87].

Cavalier Bremworth's advertising of its "enhanced durability" was misleading because of the conditions and exclusions that applied [73], [76], [78], [80] and [87].

© 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