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

 

Commission Reminds Retailers Of Their Obligations When Selling Online

On the back of increases in online shopping in New Zealand in recent weeks, the Commerce Commission is reminding retailers of their obligations when they sell products online.

The Commission has received a significant increase in consumer complaints about retailers selling online in the last month. Complaints include traders advertising goods that are no longer available, claims about delivery timeframes that are not being met, cancelled orders, general frustration about lack of communication and extensive delays in getting a refund, processing orders and receiving goods, including click and collect orders.

Commission Chair Anna Rawlings said “Many retailers have had a rush of sales through their existing websites and apps while others have set up online purchasing for the first time. We recognise that both retailers and consumers are facing challenging times as a result of COVID-19 restrictions but the online marketplace is not a free for all where anything goes. The same rules prohibiting misleading conduct that apply to physical stores also apply to online retail.”

“It is important that retailers have good systems in place to manage stock and their website so that they don’t mislead consumers by continuing to advertise and sell items online that are no longer available or are unable to be delivered within a specified timeframe. In the event that they do sell something they can no longer provide, they need to provide a refund to the consumer in a reasonable timeframe,” Ms Rawlings said.

Key things retailers need to remember:

• You must not offer to sell goods that you do not reasonably believe you will be able to supply on the terms offered

• Clear and accurate information should be provided to consumers about the availability of goods and when they can expect to receive them

• If you don’t specify timeframes for delivery then the law requires delivery within a reasonable timeframe

• Goods should arrive within the time frame stated, if that doesn’t happen consumers may be entitled to reject the goods and ask for a full refund

• If there are known delays with courier deliveries, you should reflect that in your stated delivery timeframes so that consumers can make fully informed purchasing decisions

• You can sell products with a future delivery date as long as you are clear about when they will be dispatched and at the time the order is made you reasonably believe that you can fulfil the order on the future delivery date you have promised.

Ms Rawlings said “Restrictions on trading and supply chain disruptions due to the response to COVID-19 can have an impact on the availability of goods, a retailer’s ability to fulfil orders, and delivery timelines for courier companies. We encourage consumers to pay attention to any messaging on a website about delivery timeframes before making a purchase. If anything is unclear, contact the retailer directly. If you need something urgently, or within a particular timeframe, check with the retailer that they can meet your timeframe before purchasing.”

“We have also received complaints about consumers shopping from websites that use a .co.nz web address, and expecting their goods to be despatched from within New Zealand, when in fact the trader is based overseas. We encourage consumers to do their research before using an online store for the first time. Check the ‘contact us’ information on the site for a physical address and phone number and do an internet search to look for comments or reviews from others who have used the website,” Ms Rawlings said.

Consumers can find more about their rights when buying online in general and when their plans or purchases are affected by COVID-19 on the Commission’s website.

Retailers can find more information about their obligations when selling online on the Commission’s website. Retailers who are new to online selling should take time to read the guidance and seek independent legal advice.


Background

All traders must adhere to the Fair Trading Act and Consumer Guarantees Act when selling goods and services in New Zealand regardless of the method of sale.
 

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Science Media Centre: Funding For R&D In New Zealand – Expert Reaction

Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Megan Woods has today announced $401.3 million funding for research and development through Budget 2020 and the COVID Response and Recovery Fund. The fund includes $150 million for an R&D loan scheme, ... More>>

ALSO:

Maritime NZ: NZ Joins Global Initiative Keeping Ports Open And Freight Moving

New Zealand has joined an international port authorities’ global initiative for safe and efficient movement of goods and shipping during the COVID-19 crisis. World-wide, 56 port authorities have agreed how they will work together facilitating maritime ... More>>

ALSO:

National: National Backs Businesses With $10k JobStart

National will provide a $10,000 cash payment to businesses that hire additional staff as part of our commitment to keeping New Zealanders in jobs, National Party Leader Todd Muller and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith have announced. Our JobStart ... More>>

ALSO:

DIY Law: Government Exempts Some Home Improvements From Costly Consents

Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector ... More>>

ALSO:

Media Awards: The New Zealand Herald Named Newspaper Of The Year, Website Of The Year At Voyager Media Awards

The New Zealand Herald has been labelled a “powerhouse news operation” as it claims the two biggest prizes – Newspaper of the Year and Website of the Year – along with many individual awards at the 2020 Voyager Media Awards Website of the ... More>>

ALSO:

ASB Bank: ASB Takes The Lead Again With New Low Home Loan Interest Rate

ASB has moved again to support its customers, cutting a number of home loan rates, including the two-year special rate to a new low of 2.69% p.a. Craig Sims, ASB executive general manager Retail Banking says the reduced rate will be welcome news for many ... More>>

ALSO:

Nathan Hoturoa Gray: The Problems With Testing And Case Statistics For Covid-19

To begin to understand disease transmission in a country requires adequate testing of your population with properly vetted, accurate tests. As the world struggles to find what 'adequate percentage' of the population is necessary, (estimates predict ... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Fletcher Building To Lay Off 1000 Staff In New Zealand

The construction company will cut around 10 percent of its workforce as it struggles with the fallout from Covid-19. More>>

ALSO:

Can Pay, Won't Pay: Cashflow Moves Urged

Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why We Should Legally Protect The Right To Work From Home

For understandable reasons, the media messaging around Level Two has been all about “freedom” and “celebration”, but this is not necessarily going to be a universal experience. When it comes to workplace relations, Level Two is just as likely to ... More>>

ALSO:



New Zealand Government: Supporting Kiwi Businesses To Resolve Rent Disputes

The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. More>>

ALSO:


Science Media Centre: Understanding 5G Concerns – Expert Q&A


Recent attacks on cell phone towers have brought concerns over the rollout of 5G technology into sharp relief.
While scientific research has consistently shown that the technology does not adversely affect human health, public concerns about its impact have spread around the world, fueled in part by growing misinformation online. The SMC asked experts to comment... More>>

ALSO:


Trade: Record Monthly Surplus As Imports Dive

Imports in April 2020 had their biggest fall since October 2009, resulting in a monthly trade surplus of $1.3 billion, Stats NZ said today. “This is the largest monthly trade surplus on record and the annual goods trade deficit is the lowest ... More>>

ALSO:


Media Blues: Stuff Chief Executive Buys Company For $1

Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher has purchased Stuff from its Australian owners Nine Entertainment for $1.
The chief executive was returning the company to New Zealand ownership, with the sale is expected to be completed by 31 May.
"Our plan is to transition the ownership of Stuff to give staff a direct stake in the business as shareholders," Boucher said in a statement.... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Bar Reopening Night 'much, Much Quieter'

Pubs and bars are reporting a sluggish first day back after the lockdown, with the fear of going out, or perhaps the joy of staying home, thought to be a reason for the low numbers. More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: New Zealand’s Population Passes 5 Million

New Zealand's resident population provisionally reached 5 million in March 2020, Stats NZ said today. More>>

NIWA: Seven Weeks Of Clearing The Air Provides Huge Benefits: Scientist

Seven weeks of lockdown has provided evidence of how pollution can vanish overnight with benefits for the environment and individuals, says NIWA air quality scientist Dr Ian Longley. Dr Longley has been monitoring air quality in Auckland, Wellington ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Milestone In Cash Flow Support To SMEs

A significant package of tax reforms will be pushed through all stages in Parliament today to throw a cash flow lifeline to small businesses. More>>

ALSO: