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Consumer rights & money

Chapters in this topic

Consumer protection

Your rights when you buy goods and services

What this chapter covers

  • Automatic guarantees when buying from a business
    The automatic guarantees you have under the Consumer Guarantees Act if you buy goods or services from a shop or other business
  • Protections against misleading or unfair trading
    The rules in the Fair Trading Act against various kinds of unfair trading – including misleading or deceptive conduct, making false or misleading claims and some other unfair practices
  • Protections when buying privately
    The protections available when you buy goods or services privately, rather than from a business, meaning your purchases aren’t covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act
  • Buying a motor vehicle
    The protections available when you buy motor vehicles from a dealer and the lesser protections when you buy one privately
  • Layby sales
    Special rules for when you buy on layby – this is where you get a shop to put an item aside for you while you’re paying it off
  • When sellers approach you uninvited
    How you’re protected when you buy from uninvited direct sales (like door-to-door sales) or are sent unsolicited goods and services
  • Extended warranties
    How you’re protected when you pay extra for a special warranty or guarantee, including your right to cancel it within 5 days
  • Quotes and estimates
    The difference between a quote and an estimate and what your rights and obligations are in each case
  • Where to go for more support
    Other information and resources

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Consumer protection

Where to go for more support

Community Law

www.communitylaw.org.nz

Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal advice and information.

Consumer Protection

www.consumerprotection.govt.nz

Consumer Protection helpline: 0508 426 678 (0508 4 CONSUMER)

Email: cpinfo@mbie.govt.nz

The Consumer Protection website has useful information on a range of consumer topics. Consumer Protection is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE).

FinCap

www.fincap.org.nz

Phone: 0800 345 123

FinCap can help you with budgeting information online or on the phone. They may also suggest a local budgeting service to help you with debt and other budgeting issues.

Consumer NZ

www.consumer.org.nz

The Consumer NZ website provides a wide range of information on consumer issues and template letters you can use to write to traders to enforce your rights. You can also order “Do Not Knock” stickers to deter uninvited door to door knockers on their website.

Citizens Advice Bureau

www.cab.org.nz

Phone: 0800 FOR CAB (0800 367 222)

Citizens Advice Bureaux have volunteers trained in consumer law who can provide you with information and advice about consumer problems.

Commerce Commission

www.comcom.govt.nz

Phone: 0800 943 600

Email: contact@comcom.govt.nz

The Commerce Commission enforces the laws against misleading and deceptive conduct by traders (the Fair Trading Act) and the consumer credit legislation (the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act). The Commission provides information on these areas on its website.

Consumer rights in another language

www.comcom.govt.nz/consumers/read-about-your-consumer-rights-and-business-responsibilities-in-another-language

This site by the Commerce Commission has information about typical situations consumers find themselves in, in five different languages.

Product Recalls

www.recalls.govt.nz

This site lets you know which products have been “recalled” due to safety issues or product defects. You can generally return a recalled product to the place where you bought it to be repaired or replaced.

Motor Vehicle Traders Register

www.motortraders.med.govt.nz

Phone: 0508 MOTOR TRADERS (0508 668 678)

Check to see if a motor vehicle trader is registered.

Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal

www.justice.govt.nz/Tribunals/motor-vehicle-dealer-disputes

Phone: 0800 268 787

The Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal deals with disputes of amounts up to $100,000. It can be more if both parties agree in writing.

Personal Properties Securities Register (PPSR)

www.ppsr.companiesoffice.govt.nz/

Search the PPSR register to see if there is any security interest registered against a vehicle. This can be done for a small fee by registering to check online

Proceedings in the District Courts

The Ministry of Justice website has information about making or responding to a claim in the District Courts. See: www.justice.govt.nz and search “claims to civil court”.

Buying a car privately

YouthLaw has produced a video on buying a car privately.
See: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK8irFAn1as

New Zealand Police

www.police.govt.nz/stolenwanted/stolen-vehicles

Check to make sure a car that you’re considering buying hasn’t been listed with the police as stolen.

Dispute resolution schemes

There are four dispute resolution schemes for consumers dealing with lenders and other credit providers.

Financial Services Complaints Limited – www.fscl.org.nz

Phone: 0800 347 257

Email: info@fscl.org.nz

Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman
Phone: 0800 888 202

Email: info@ifso.nz

Banking Ombudsman – www.bankomb.org.nz
Phone:
0800 805 950

Email: help@bankomb.org.nz

Financial Dispute Resolution – www.fdrs.org.nz
Phone:
0508 337 337

Email: enquiries@fdrs.org.nz

Also available as a book

The Community Law Manual

The Community Law Manual is a trail-blazing resource that helps Kiwis (and their advocates) help themselves. The Manual contains over 800 pages of easy-to-read legal info, on just about every area of community and personal life. Re-released every year in July, the Manual provides comprehensive answers to common legal questions.

Buy The Community Law Manual

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