When buying goods and services as a consumer, you have rights. If you have an issue with something you have purchased, you have a few options to resolve it.
What are the rules?
It is illegal for traders to mislead consumers, give false information, or use unfair trading practices.
all aspects of the promotion and sale of goods and services
anything said about a product or service, either verbally or in writing
any impressions given by pictures, advertisements, or promotional material.
The Fair Trading Act applies to anyone in trade – from big organisations like hotel chains, airlines and department stores, to small or temporary businesses like a souvenir stall or ice cream stand, and online sellers.
So you can make an informed decision about purchasing goods and services, traders must ensure the information they give you is accurate, and important information is not withheld.
There are minimum guarantees that apply to all products and services acquired from a supplier and you can seek repairs, replacements or refunds when these are not as expected. This is covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act.
be of acceptable quality
be fit for a particular purpose
arrive on time and in good condition
match the description, sample or demonstration
be supported by reasonably available spare parts and repair facilities (by manufacturers)
be sold with full ownership rights (or undisturbed possession if subject to a hire purchase or lease)
not have money owing that is not disclosed.
Services should be:
carried out with reasonable care and skill
fit for a particular purpose
carried out in a reasonable time
charged for at a reasonable price.
The Consumer Guarantees Act is self-enforcing, which means you can take your own action. If a guarantee is not met, you have the right to insist that the seller or service provider puts it right. For more information, go to the Consumer Protection website.
If you think that a product or service does not meet the above guarantees, or you feel you have been misled, you should speak to the trader you purchased from first – it is likely they will want to resolve the issue with you.
If you are unable to resolve your issue by talking to the trader, the Disputes Tribunal can be a quick and inexpensive way to help you resolve the dispute.