Fair Trading media releases

December 2013

Commission closes Air New Zealand credit card surcharge investigation

19 December 2013

The Commerce Commission has concluded an investigation into credit card surcharging by Air New Zealand and found that the airline has not engaged in conduct likely to breach the Fair Trading Act (FTA).

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Consumer law modernised and extended

19 December 2013

The Commerce Commission says it’s ready to enforce the changes enacted by the passage into law this week of the Fair Trading Amendment Act 2013, and urges businesses to know the new ground rules and ensure they act within the law.

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Commerce Commission proposes to issue proceedings on interest rate swaps

17 December 2013

The Commerce Commission confirms that it has advised three major New Zealand banks, ANZ, ASB and Westpac, that it intends to issue legal proceedings over their sales of interest rate swap contracts to rural customers.

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Big fines for toxic water claims

12 December 2013

Love Springs Limited and its director Phillip Smart have been fined a total of $555,000 in the Auckland District Court late yesterday afternoon for breaches of the Fair Trading Act in relation to the door to door sales of water filters.

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Slingshot fined for “slamming” customers

12 December 2013

Call Plus Services Limited, trading as Slingshot, has been fined $250,000 after pleading guilty in the Auckland District Court today to 50 charges it faced under the Fair Trading Act in relation to the marketing of its telecommunications services.

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Commerce Commission closes out successful Credit SaILS investigation

9 December 2013

The Commerce Commission has welcomed the news that all but $17,000 of the $60 million settlement fund in the failed investment product Credit SaILS has been returned to investors.

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Company director breaches Fair Trading Act over Elton John train journey

6 December 2013

Former Christchurch based company director Roger Sutherland, has been convicted and fined
$45,000 in the Christchurch District Court today and ordered to pay over $26,000 reparation on 11 charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act.

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November 2013

Commerce Commission sets guidelines for international information requests

27 November 2013

The Commerce Commission has today released its guidelines for Overseas Requests for Compulsorily Acquired Information and Investigative Assistance.

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Auckland car salesman convicted of dishonest online auction bids

21 November 2013

Auckland car salesman Craig James Rutherford has been fined $12,100 in the Auckland District Court today on 11 charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act (FTA) by shill bidding during the sale of cars on the Trade Me auction website.

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Rubbish bag company fined heavily for misleading environmental claims

19 November 2013

Eco-Pal Ltd (Eco-Pal), a manufacturer of plastic rubbish bags, has been sentenced in the Auckland District Court for environmental claims it made that breached the Fair Trading Act (FTA).

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Baycorp settlement puts credit industry on notice

11 November 2013

The Commerce Commission says its settlement with Baycorp (NZ) Limited (Baycorp), under which debtors have been refunded or had account balances reduced by a total of $3.5m, sends a strong message to the credit industry that participants must comply with their obligations under the Credit (Repossession) Act 1997 (CRA).

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Commerce Commission issues “Stop Now” letter to finance companies

6 November 2013

The Commerce Commission has issued a ‘Stop Now’ letter to finance companies Evolution Finance Limited (Evolution Finance) and Budget Loans Limited (Budget Loans) asking them to stop repossessing, or asserting a right to repossess, consumer goods where the applicable loan contract does not provide them with a right to do so.

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October 2013

Commission updates guidelines about enforcement responses

1 October 2013

The Commerce Commission has today published its revised Enforcement Response Guidelines (ERG), which now include new Criminal Prosecutions Guidelines as an attachment.

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September 2013

Four more souvenir companies fined for misleading tourists

13 September 2013

Four companies and four individuals have been convicted and fined a total of $601,900 for selling visiting Asian tourists a range of imported alpaca goods as “Made in New Zealand”, and making claims that duvets were 100% alpaca or merino wool when they were not.

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August 2013

Misleading green claims on plastic bags cop fines

30 August 2013

A manufacturer of plastic rubbish bags has been fined $30,000 in the Auckland District Court for breaches of the Fair Trading Act in relation to environmental claims that were liable to mislead.

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Christchurch company fined for misleading origin claims on sheepskin footwear

1 August 2013

Christchurch company Mi Woollies Limited has been convicted and fined $63,000 in the Christchurch District Court after pleading guilty to ten charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act (FTA). The charges, brought by the Commerce Commission, relate to false or misleading country of origin claims by Mi Woollies on its “UGG New Zealand” branded sheepskin footwear.

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July 2013

Money lending car dealer fined $22,000

12 July 2013

An Auckland-based car dealer has been fined $22,000 and ordered to pay $2,000 reparation in the Auckland District Court after admitting to a number of charges including misleading customers, selling unnecessary warranties, and charging higher interest rates than those agreed. In one case, he charged a customer over 60% interest on a car loan – 35% higher than the rate agreed.

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May 2013

Shill bidding costs car company more than $165,000

23 May 2013

An Auckland-based car company has been sentenced today in the Auckland District Court on 13 charges under the Fair Trading Act. The Auto Co (Millenium) Ltd has been fined $42,000 plus court costs of $1727.57 after pleading guilty to misleading consumers about the price of vehicles auctioned on Trade Me. The fine is on top of over $122,000 already paid in compensation to affected consumers and related costs.

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April 2013

Commission urges caution for users of multi-purpose ladders

16 April 2013

The Commerce Commission has urged consumers and tradespeople to exercise caution when using two models of ‘Transforma’ multi-purpose ladder, sold nationwide by Brand Developers Limited between 2007 and March 2013.

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Penalties for souvenir companies that misled tourists with untrue claims

2 April 2013

Two companies and two individuals have been convicted and fined a total of $259,000 in the Auckland District Court for manufacturing and selling to visiting Asian tourists a range of high-priced souvenir items that were not what they claimed to be.

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March 2013

Businesses urged to take care with Holidays Act surcharges over Easter

27 March 2013

Businesses that open for trading over Easter, such as cafes and bars, must not mislead their customers about their reason for a surcharge.

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Commerce Commission seeks more information on interest rate swaps

27 March 2013

The Commerce Commission is seeking more information from farmers and others who entered into a financial derivative product known as interest rate swaps.

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Great news in the post for investors in failed investment product Credit SaILs

19 March 2013

Thousands of investors who lost millions of dollars when the financial product Credit SaILS failed in the global financial crisis will receive some welcome news in the post around Easter.

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Lessons for finance sector from Commerce Commission investigation into Credit SaILS

7 March 2013

The Commerce Commission is advising the finance sector to take note of the lessons to be learned from its investigation into the marketing and sale of the failed investment product Credit SaILS.

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February 2013

Commission updates Primary Production select committee on interest rate swaps investigation

28 February 2013

Commerce Commission Chairman Dr Mark Berry has today provided an update to the Primary Production select committee on the Commission’s progress in its interest rate swaps investigation.

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