Changes to your consumer rights 


From 17 June a number of changes take place which will improve your consumer rights (purchases made before this date are covered under the previous law).

Extended warranties
From 17 June, if a business wants to sell you an extended warranty they have to explain to you what extra protections it will give you over and above the rights you already have under the Consumer Guarantees Act . If you purchase an extended warranty, you’ll have the right to cancel it within five working days of buying it – no questions asked.

Buying in an auction
Sellers who are traders (a seller who obtains goods for the purpose of selling them) will have to identify themselves as such when they sell at an auction, whether the auction is held online or through an auction house. If the seller of the consumer goods you bought at an auction is a trader you’ll be protected by the Consumer Guarantees Act.

Layby sales
Businesses will be required to give consumers written information about the terms of their layby arrangement, including the buyer’s cancellation rights. If a layby agreement includes credit fees or interest charges it will be regarded as a credit contract.

Delivery guarantee
If you buy something from a trader and they arrange delivery of the goods to you, the business will be responsible for ensuring that the goods arrive on time and in a good condition.

Online purchases
Sellers who are traders (a seller who obtains goods for the purpose of selling them) have to identify themselves as such when they sell online (including online auctions). If you buy consumer goods or services online from a New Zealand based trader you’ll be covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act.

Claims about a product or service
Businesses won’t be allowed to make unsubstantiated claims i.e. claims which they don’t have evidence or reasonable grounds to make. For example, if a business claims that they are selling goods at “factory prices” then the prices must be similar to what the manufacturer would have charged them.

Door-to-door and telemarketing sales
If you buy goods or services as a result of an uninvited approach by a business - at home or at work, by phone or in person – you’ll have the right to cancel within five working days of the purchase. This only applies if you bought it for $100 or more though – so you can’t cancel your purchase if you bought $10 worth of chocolate from a door-to-door seller.

Where to find more information
Visit the Commerce Commission’s new website, Know your rights, for more information about these changes - or our Consumer pages for general information about your consumer rights.