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New penalties for door-to-door traders welcomed


10 October 2018

New penalties for door-to-door traders welcomed

Consumer NZ welcomes the government’s announcement door-to-door sellers that ignore “Do Not Knock” stickers will face prosecution under the Fair Trading Act.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin said the organisation has been calling for the law change since launching its Do Not Knock campaign in 2014.

Since then, 550,000 Do Not Knock stickers have been distributed to consumers to help them shut the door on unwanted traders.

Ms Chetwin said the changes, announced today, would give consumers extra protection from these sellers.

“The message to door-to-door traders is clear. If they ignore a ‘Do Not Knock’ sticker and come on to your property, they’ll end up in court,” Ms Chetwin said.

Consumer NZ launched the Do Not Knock campaign as a result of ongoing complaints the organisation had received about the hard sell and exploitative practices used by door-to-door traders.

Many cases involved elderly or vulnerable consumers, pressured to sign up for products they didn’t want and couldn’t afford.

Ms Chetwin said anyone who wanted a free Do Not Knock sticker could visit consumer.org.nz and either request one or print it out from the website.

Consumer NZ also welcomed the government’s announcement today it would introduce an interest rate cap for high cost loans and strengthen responsible lending requirements under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA).

“These changes will provide better protection for consumers from irresponsible lending practices that resulted in people getting into unnecessary debt,” Ms Chetwin said.

Lenders will also face civil penalties of $600,000 for breaches of the CCCFA.

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