Fair Trading media releases

December 2016

Charges filed over ‘made in New Zealand’ claims about NatureBee supplement

20 December 2016

Topline International Limited (Topline) and its director Jeffrey Bernard Cook each face 22 charges brought by the Commission for falsely representing that its NatureBee Potentiated Bee Pollen (NatureBee) supplement was a New Zealand made and sourced product, when in fact the bee pollen was from China.

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Hamilton real estate agency to pay $1 million for price fixing

19 December 2016

Hamilton real estate agency Lugton’s Limited has been ordered to pay a penalty of $1 million following a penalty hearing in the Auckland High Court on Friday 16 December.

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Godfreys fined for the extended warranty agreements it sold customers

19 December 2016

New Zealand Vacuum Cleaner Company Limited (trading as Godfreys) was today fined $48,000 in the Manukau District Court after earlier pleading guilty to 10 charges relating to its extended warranty agreements.

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Youi insurance fined $320,000 for misleading sales techniques

15 December 2016

Insurance firm Youi NZ Pty Limited (Youi) has today been fined $320,000 in the Auckland District Court for employing misleading sales techniques when attempting to sell policies to consumers who were seeking a quote.

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"You better watch out" – Christmas shoppers urged

14 December 2016

With the Christmas shopping season in full swing the Commerce Commission is reminding consumers and retailers about consumers' rights when buying goods in store or online.

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Third party trademark agency receives warning

13 December 2016

Gibraltar-based company PTMO Limited (PTMO) has received a Commission warning for a notice it sent to New Zealand trademark holders to pay $1,295 to renew their trademark for 10 years.

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South Auckland car dealership fined for false claims its cars were AA appraised

12 December 2016

Car dealer, Zodiac Motor Company Limited (Zodiac) has been fined a total of $105,000 in Manukau District Court for making false claims that its cars were AA appraised and that it was an AA Appraised Used Dealer.

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Commission completes steel mesh investigations into five companies

5 December 2016

The Commission has now completed its seismic steel mesh investigations into five of the companies under investigation.

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Harmoney fined $292k for misleading marketing campaign

2 December 2016

Peer-to-peer lender Harmoney has today been fined $292,500 in the Auckland District Court for misleading consumers into believing they had been pre-approved for a personal loan.

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November 2016

Mobile trader owner found guilty after not supplying customers’ goods

29 November 2016

Flexi Buy Limited owner Vikram Mehta has been found guilty under the Crimes Act 1961 of being a party to obtaining money by deception, by making false representations to customers.

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Payday lender Twenty Fifty Club fined $76K and director banned indefinitely

28 November 2016

South Auckland payday lender Twenty Fifty Club Limited and its sole director Gavin Marsich have been fined a total of $76,000 and Mr Marsich has been banned indefinitely from carrying out any further consumer lending.

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Commerce Commission investigation returns $600,000 to NZ trademark holders

9 November 2016

The Commission has worked with ANZ Bank to successfully return around $600,000 to trademark holders who were misled about the need to pay an invoice from Swiss company, TM Publisher (TMP).

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October 2016

Expedia and Booking.com amend parity contract clauses

28 October 2016

Expedia and Booking.com will amend price and availability parity clauses in their contracts with New Zealand accommodation providers to resolve a Commerce Commission investigation.

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Yoghurt Story fined for falsely claiming its products are yoghurt

14 October 2016

Yoghurt Story New Zealand Limited and Frozen Yoghurt Limited have been sentenced and fined in the Auckland District Court for misleading the public about the nature and characteristics of their frozen yoghurt products.

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Warning about phone survey scam that offers non-existent cash prizes

10 October 2016

The Commerce Commission is warning New Zealanders about being cold-called by a company called Li Bai Corporation, as it is believed to be a scam.

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Commission obtains highest penalties yet against mobile traders

6 October 2016

Mobile traders Ace Marketing Limited and Smart Shop Limited (trading as SmartStore) have been fined $150,000 and $135,000 respectively after being sentenced in the Auckland District Court.

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September 2016

Sales Concepts pleads guilty to false Christmas delivery promise

28 September 2016

Mobile trader Sales Concepts Limited (Sales Concepts) has pleaded guilty to 10 charges in the Auckland District Court brought by the Commerce Commission under the Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA) for misleading consumers.

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Commission releases 2016 Consumer Issues Report

27 September 2016

The Commerce Commission has released its 2016 Consumer Issues Report, presenting a picture of issues affecting New Zealand consumers.

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Trustpower fined $390k over misleading broadband offer

22 September 2016

Trustpower Limited has been fined $390,000 in the Auckland District Court after pleading guilty to misleading consumers over the price and terms of its bundled electricity and unlimited data broadband offer.

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Vodafone fined $165k for false price representations

14 September 2016

Vodafone New Zealand Limited has today been fined $165,000 in the Auckland District Court after pleading guilty to making false price representations in breach of the Fair Trading Act.

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Bike Barn charged with misleading customers over its sale prices

12 September 2016

The Commerce Commission has filed 16 charges against Bikes International Limited and Bike Retail Group Limited (which both operate as Bike Barn) relating to misleading conduct.

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AirAsia warned over opt out pricing and processing fee

5 September 2016

Malaysian airline Air Asia X Service Pty Limited has agreed to end its preselection of checked baggage and change how it discloses its processing fee when selling flight tickets to New Zealand customers online.

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Godfreys pleads guilty to charges over extended warranty agreements

2 September 2016

New Zealand Vacuum Cleaner Company Limited (trading as Godfreys) has pleaded guilty to 10 charges brought by the Commission in relation to the extended warranty agreements it sold to consumers.

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August 2016

Energy retail contracts reviewed by Commission for unfair terms

30 August 2016

As part of an ongoing review of standard form consumer contracts, the Commerce Commission has released a report detailing its findings in the energy retail sector.

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Duvets sold as ‘premium alpaca’ contained mostly sheep’s wool

24 August 2016

Rotorua business Budge Collection Limited (Budge) and sole director, Sun Dong Kim, were convicted and fined a total of $71,250 in Auckland District Court after each pleading guilty to four charges of misrepresenting how much alpaca fibre was in their duvets.

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123 Mart charged over safety standard of children’s toys and nightwear

22 August 2016

The Commerce Commission has filed 28 charges against The 123 Mart Limited (123 Mart) relating to 10 children’s toys and five clothing items it sold between April 2013 and June 2016.

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Commission files charges against Trustpower over misleading broadband offer

19 August 2016

The Commerce Commission has filed charges in the Auckland District Court against Trustpower Limited over its marketing and sale of its bundled electricity and unlimited data broadband offer.

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Commission files charges against Youi insurance

11 August 2016

The Commerce Commission has filed charges in the Auckland District Court against insurance firm Youi NZ Pty Limited, alleging it employed misleading sales techniques when attempting to sell policies to consumers who were only seeking a quote.

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Commission files charges against Harmoney over marketing campaign

1 August 2016

The Commerce Commission has filed Fair Trading Act charges in the Auckland District Court against peer-to-peer lender Harmoney alleging it misled consumers into believing they had been pre-approved for a personal loan.

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July 2016

Budget Loans and Evolution Finance found guilty on 106 FTA charges

15 July 2016

Finance companies Budget Loans Limited and Evolution Finance Limited have been found guilty in the Auckland District Court on 106 charges brought by the Commerce Commission under the Fair Trading Act.

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SmartStore charged over its customer agreements

12 July 2016

Mobile trader, Smart Shop Limited (trading as SmartStore) yesterday pleaded guilty to 11 charges brought by the Commerce Commission for its loan contracts and extended warranty agreements.

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Commission files charges over ECE subsidy misrepresentations at Auckland pre-school

5 July 2016

The Commerce Commission has filed charges in the Auckland District Court against Kowhai Montessori Pre-School Limited and its former director and manager Rebecca Brindle, following an investigation into allegations they misrepresented to parents the subsidy the pre-school received under the Government’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) scheme.

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June 2016

Canterbury builder fined for failing to supply building guarantees

20 June 2016

Gerard James Thomson, the Director of construction business, Flaxmill Ltd, was fined $12,800 and ordered to pay $16,700 in compensation to two of the three complainants for making false representations about providing Homefirst building guarantees to home owners.

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Commission lifts ‘stop’ on Brilliance Steel’s steel mesh

1 June 2016

The Commerce Commission has lifted its advice to Brilliance Steel Limited (Brilliance) not to sell ductile steel mesh represented as grade 500E after reaching an interim agreement.

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May 2016

Commission files proceedings against Vodafone over misleading invoices

25 May 2016

The Commerce Commission has filed court proceedings against Vodafone New Zealand Limited alleging it breached the Fair Trading Act by making false price representations.

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Nangong sentenced after selling fake alpaca duvets to tourist shops

23 May 2016

Duvet and rug business Nangong Limited and its owner, Yun Qiang Hou, were convicted and fined a total of more than $109,000 in Auckland District Court after pleading guilty to 14 charges of making false claims that their duvets contained alpaca wool and were made in New Zealand.

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Drainage firm director sentenced to home detention for deception over Christchurch earthquake repairs

11 May 2016

Alligator Drainage Limited director Graham Lilley has today been sentenced to 10 months home detention in Christchurch District Court, having pleaded guilty to 21 deception charges under the Crimes Act following a Commerce Commission and Police investigation into drainage repairs conducted on earthquake damaged properties.

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Commission concludes Intagr8 investigation

4 May 2016

The Commerce Commission has concluded its investigation into telecommunications firm Intagr8 Limited regarding allegations it misrepresented the price and nature of its services when making sales in New Zealand.

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Imported goats’ milk powder products not “New Zealand made”

3 May 2016

In a case taken by the Commerce Commission, the High Court has found that New Zealand Nutritionals (2004) Limited (NZ Nutritionals) made misleading “New Zealand made” claims about two dietary supplements.

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Commission recoups money for New Zealand trade mark holders

2 May 2016

The Commission has reached an interim agreement with TM Publisher, an overseas company who sent invoices for unsolicited services to New Zealand trade mark holders.

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April 2016

Update on Commerce Commission steel mesh investigation

29 April 2016

The Commerce Commission continues to make progress in its ongoing enquiries into steel mesh sold in New Zealand.

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Commission lifts ‘stop’ on Euro Corporation’s steel mesh

22 April 2016

The Commerce Commission has lifted its advice to Euro Corporation Limited (Euro Corporation) not to sell ductile steel mesh represented as grade 500E after reaching an interim agreement.

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National chain, Baby City, faces charges over safety of cots

19 April 2016

The Commerce Commission has laid nine charges against baby products store, Baby City Retail Investments Limited (Baby City), relating to failing to comply with the safety standard for household cots (Safety Standard).

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New Zealand trade mark holders warned about letters requesting payment

14 April 2016

The Commerce Commission is alerting businesses that they are under no obligation to pay an invoice being sent in the post by TM Publisher to New Zealand trade mark holders.

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Commission signs cooperation arrangement with Canadian Competition Bureau

13 April 2016

Commerce Commission Chairman Dr Mark Berry has today signed a mutual cooperation arrangement with Canadian Competition Bureau Commissioner John Pecman to further enhance their collaboration on cross-agency competition matters.

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Update on steel mesh investigation

6 April 2016

The Commerce Commission welcomes Steel & Tube’s decision not to sell SE seismic steel mesh until the mesh has been through a dual testing process and the company has test results that demonstrate compliance with the standard.

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March 2016

Warning to Phil & Teds over safety concerns with teddy bears

29 March 2016

Phil and Teds Most Excellent Buggy Company Limited (Phil & Teds) have been issued with a warning by the Commerce Commission after 10 of its teddy bears were tested and did not comply with the prescribed product safety standard for children’s toys.

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Surcharges must be clearly disclosed to avoid misleading customers

23 March 2016

As Easter approaches, the Commerce Commission is reminding businesses that if they choose to charge additional surcharges, these must be clearly disclosed and the reasons for the surcharge accurately described to avoid breaching the Fair Trading Act.

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Jetstar gives enforceable undertakings to end opt out pricing

17 March 2016

Jetstar has given court enforceable undertakings to the Commerce Commission ending its preselection of ‘opt out’ services when selling airline tickets to New Zealand customers online.

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Insufficient disclosure results in over $100,000 in refunds

17 March 2016

Payday lender, Cash in a Flash, has refunded customers or reduced customer account balances by a total of $122,365 after the Commerce Commission warned it was likely to have breached consumer credit laws.

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Zodiac car dealership in court for falsely claiming to be AA appraised

8 March 2016

South Auckland motor vehicle dealer, Zodiac Motor Company Limited (Zodiac), and its owner Nezam Anwer appeared in Manukau District Court today on charges for false representations about its AA Appraised Used Vehicle Dealer membership.

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New animations campaign aims to empower borrowers

7 March 2016

The Commerce Commission has today launched an original animated series to raise awareness of consumer rights. 

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Commerce Commission investigating whether steel mesh complies with standard

4 March 2016

Brilliance Steel Ltd (Brilliance) and Euro Corporation Limited (Euro Corporation) have agreed to stop selling some steel mesh products while the Commerce Commission further investigates concerns that they may not comply with the Australia/New Zealand standard (AS/NZ 4671:2001).

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First mobile trader sentenced following Commission’s mobile trader report

1 March 2016

Mobile trader Flexi Buy Limited has been fined $50,000 in the Auckland District Court. A further $3,480 was awarded in damages to affected customers.

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February 2016

Westpac to compensate customers $4m over debit card fees

16 February 2016

Westpac New Zealand has reached a settlement agreement with the Commerce Commission and Financial Markets Authority (FMA) to repay over $4 million dollars to over 100,000 past and present customers who were overcharged debit card fees when withdrawing money from Westpac ATMs in Australia.

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Charges laid over alpaca and cashmere claims

16 February 2016

Two businesses and four associated individuals face charges for making false or misleading claims about the origin and composition of their cashmere and alpaca products.

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Commission releases report on unfair contract terms in the telco sector

10 February 2016

The Commerce Commission has today released a report detailing the findings of its review of standard form consumer contracts in the telecommunications sector.

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January 2016

DSE (NZ) Limited (Dick Smith) receivership and voluntary administration

8 January 2016

What you need to know if you are affected by the current Dick Smith situation.

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