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Commerce Commission Publishes 2016 Consumer Issues Report

Written by Darryl King, PARTNER on November 1st, 2016.    


The Commerce Commission has released its 2016 Consumer Issues Report.  The report identifies key issues and emerging risks that have the potential to affect consumers in New Zealand, and upcoming areas of focus for the Commerce Commission.  The report is based on recent consumer complaints received by the Commission as well as industry information regarding the consumer environment.  

Some of the key issues the Commerce Commission identified as having the greatest potential impact to consumers are:

  • Disproportionate number of complaints are generated by a small number of traders (particularly for the telecommunications and domestic appliance retail industries);

  • Misrepresentations about products in the building industry;

  • Misrepresentation of consumers’ rights by traders; 

  • Growth of online sales has increased the potential for consumers to be misled; 

  • Disproportionate number of complaints are made about the practices of non-bank lenders;

  • Importation of unsafe products (e.g. baby walkers and cots);

  • Vulnerable consumers being targeted by some traders and lenders; 

  • Participation in industry associations enabling anticompetitive conduct. The Commerce Commission has clear guidelines to assist industry associations to avoid allegations of price fixing and other cartel conduct.

This is the third year that the Commerce Commission has produced a Consumer Issues Report, which is used to identify areas of focus for internal planning and priorities for the upcoming year. Some of the issues raised in the 2014 and 2015 reports have been raised again in the 2016 report, and some new issues have been identified.  The 2016 report draws on 2015 calendar year information.  For the full report and Commerce Commission infographic click here.  

The Commerce Commission’s report provides guidance and insight for businesses who deal with consumers about the issues that are likely to be addressed by the Commission in the near future.  For further information on this subject please contact the Business Law team or your usual Jackson Russell adviser.

The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended as legal advice.  It is important that you seek legal advice that is specific to your circumstances.

All rights reserved © Jackson Russell 2016


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