Articles

Consumer and Fair Trading Claims

Unfair Contract Terms

A recent decision in the High Court of New Zealand has provided the first instance of the Courts using the Fair Trading Act 1986 ("FTA") to declare specific terms in a standard form consumer contract unfair, and therefore unenforceable. The decision in Commerce Commission v Home Direct Limited1 was made pursuant to sections in the FTA which were introduced in 2013 and give the Commerce Commission power to apply to the District Court or High Court for a declaration that a term in a standard form consumer contract is unfair.
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Heavy Fines Given to Retailers for Misleading Consumers

Recent decisions of the District Court highlight the need for businesses to adhere to the Fair Trading Act 1986 ("FTA") and not mislead their customers, particularly if their customers are 'consumers' under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 ("CGA"). Both decisions involved prosecutions by the Commerce Commission against high profile retailers and resulted in substantial fines being awarded against these retailers.
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