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Minister welcomes report on consumer issues

Hon Paul Goldsmith
Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

24 September 2015

Minister welcomes report on consumer issues

A report by the Commerce Commission provides a useful snapshot of issues affecting consumers and competition levels in 2014, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Paul Goldsmith says.

“I welcome this report by the Commerce Commission,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“The annual Consumer Issues 2015 report gives an overview of areas where there was a risk of harm to consumers as of 2014, and identifies emerging risks.

“I am pleased to see this comprehensive analysis from the Commerce Commission which helps to inform and prioritise their work. It identifies issues that may provide opportunities for protecting consumers and promoting competition.

“The Government has recently implemented reforms to address many of the practices that the Commission identified as causing harm in 2014.

“For example, a number of complaints had been received about mobile traders loading multiple direct debits or selling goods on credit to customers who can’t afford them.

“Thanks to recent changes to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act, the Commerce Commission has the tools to closely scrutinise this industry and the mandate to take actions against those operators who flout the law.

The Commission will be actively enforcing the new credit laws to improve the conduct of finance companies and mobile traders, which were the source of most credit-related complaints.

“Another trend signalled in the report is the increase in complaints about online trading. It is good to see the results of the changes to consumer laws in 2014 filtering through. Online traders must now declare if they are supplying goods or services ‘in trade’ which gives consumers protection under the Consumer Guarantees Act and the Fair Trading Act in the event of a dispute,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“I am encouraged to see the work the Commerce Commission is doing to analyse the issues affecting consumers and this demonstration of how it is enforcing the our consumer and credit legislation.”

ENDS

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