The report delves into the 7,452 complaints we received in the 2018 financial year and assists in understanding potential issues facing consumers and where there is likely to be the greatest harm.

The report describes a range of trends under the legislation we enforce, including:

Fair Trading Act

  • Retail telecommunications remains the most complained about industry, though complaint levels are relatively flat year on year.
  • Online sales generated nearly a quarter of all Fair Trading Act complaints, highlighting the growing size of this market and the challenges for consumers purchasing goods from overseas-based companies, and online ticket reseller Viagogo in particular.
  • An increase in the number of complaints about motor vehicle dealers. The majority of complaints are about second-hand sales and are spread across a wide range of traders.

Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act

  • We continue to receive complaints about irresponsible lending, debt collection, the reasonableness of fees, and failure to properly disclose the terms and conditions of lending to borrowers.

Commerce Act

  • A rise in complaints regarding regional ports, primarily relating to the conduct of ports in competitive markets for the supply of services. We are looking into some of the allegations raised and will be maintaining a close watch on this sector over the coming year.

The full Consumer Issues Report can be found here.