Retailers ignoring ‘too many’ consumer rights

customersA marked rise in Fair Trading Act complaints shows consumer rights are being ignored by too many retailers, according to watchdog Consumer NZ.

The Commerce Commission’s annual Consumer Issues report shows a 24 percent rise in Fair Trading Act complaints since 2015 while complaints about potential breaches of the act jumped from 5489 in 2014/15 to 6798 this year.

Pricing practices, and claims about goods and services were the most common issues raised in complaints. Online sales comprised 42 percent of all complaints.

Vodafone attracted 186 complaints this year and Spark 180. Foodstuffs, owner of the New World and Pak’nSave supermarket brands, followed them with 98 complaints.

Rounding out the top 10 were 2degrees (88), Noel Leeming (82), Air New Zealand (77), Vocus Communications (68), Progressive Enterprises (66), Wilson Parking (62) and Viagogo (57).

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin said companies named in the commission’s report were also a common cause of complaints to Consumer NZ’s advisory service, which receives about 4000 inquiries a year.

“The Telco industry and appliance retailers regularly feature in complaints to us. Despite the fact the Fair Trading Act and Consumer Guarantees Act have been in place for over 20 years, some traders are still deliberately hazy about their responsibilities,” she said.

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