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

 

Be Clear And Upfront About Surcharges This Easter Holiday

As Easter approaches the Commerce Commission is reminding businesses that any surcharges added must be clearly disclosed and the reasons for the surcharge accurately described to avoid breaching the Fair Trading Act 1986.

Commission Chair Anna Rawlings said “Businesses can set their own prices for products and services, including charging a surcharge. However, if they do apply a surcharge it must be clearly disclosed, for example, by adding information to their website for online sales or placing a sign outside. Customers should be aware that a surcharge will be payable before they make a decision to purchase or engage the service, so they can decide whether to pay the surcharge or go elsewhere”.

“In addition, the reason for any surcharge must be accurately described and must not be capable of misleading consumers,” said Ms Rawlings.

For example, businesses sometimes use surcharges to recover additional costs such as staff wages, because employees get a higher pay rate and an alternative day off under the Holidays Act when they work a public holiday if it’s a usual working day for them. However, if a business says a surcharge covers those additional costs, the surcharge should not exceed those costs, and the costs should actually be incurred by the business.

Over Easter Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays. Some businesses may face additional costs on Good Friday (2 April), others on Easter Monday (5 April) and some may face additional costs on both days (for example, if they have some staff who usually work on Friday and some who usually work on Monday). It is likely to be misleading and a breach of the Fair Trading Act for businesses to charge a public holiday surcharge on days when they do not actually incur additional costs. Working out which day is a public holiday over a long weekend can be confusing, which is why the Commission is reminding businesses that they must be upfront about surcharges and check that they are applying them on the right days.

Consumers who consider they have been misled about the reason for a surcharge, or the amount of a surcharge, or who believe that the surcharge has not been adequately disclosed, can make a complaint to the Commerce Commission.

 

Background

Breach of the Fair Trading Act
Only the Courts can decide if there has been a breach of the Fair Trading Act and can impose penalties where it finds the law has been broken. A company that breaches the Fair Trading Act can be fined up to $600,000 and an individual up to $200,000 per offence.

New Zealand’s public holidays in 2021
Public holidays and anniversary days can be found on govt.nz.
 

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Frog Recruitment: Kiwi Workers Reluctant To Make Business Trips Across The Ditch Despite Trans-Tasman Bubble Opening

When the trans-Tasman travel bubble opens today, many Kiwi companies won't be rushing to buy an air ticket, reluctant to cross the ditch to do business. The latest survey conducted by leading recruitment agency, Frog Recruitment of nearly 1,000 New Zealand ... More>>

Tourism: Employers Welcome Back Working Holidaymakers

Tourism businesses gearing up for the return of Australian visitors from next week will be relieved to learn that they will also have access to an offshore pool of much-needed job candidates, Tourism Industry Aotearoa says. Tourism employers around ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Latest Broadband Report Confirms Improved Performance Of Premium Fibre Plans

The latest report from the Commerce Commission’s Measuring Broadband New Zealand programme shows that the performance of Fibre Max plans has improved substantially. This follows a collaboration between the Commission, its independent testing partner, ... More>>

Air New Zealand: Capital Raise Deferred

Air New Zealand has decided to defer its planned capital raise to later in 2021 allowing more time to assess the impacts of recent developments on the airline’s path to recovery. 'We’ve seen some clearing of COVID-19 clouds recently, with ... More>>


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Impact Of Demands On Land In New Zealand

A new environmental report released today by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ, presents new data on New Zealand’s land cover, soil quality, and land fragmentation. The land cover data in the report, Our land 2021 , provides the most ... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: March Card Spending Rebounds Despite COVID

There was a lift in retail card spending in March following a fall in the lockdown-disrupted February month, Stats NZ said today. Seasonally adjusted retail card spending rose by $53 million (0.9 percent), compared with February 2021. Visit our website to read ... More>>

PwC: Outcome Of Review Into Air New Zealand Gas Turbines Business

Air New Zealand has received the report into its Gas Turbines business from independent external advisers PwC. Air New Zealand Chairman Dame Therese Walsh says the report identified a range of effective controls in the Gas Turbines revenue contracting ... More>>