Changes to Consumer Law

Some changes to the law affect only those purchases or transactions made from 17 June 2014. Purchases that occurred before that date is covered by the previous law. Key changes are:

Extended Warranties

• Consumers will have the right to cancel an extended warranty within five working days of purchasing it.
• Businesses will have to explain, before consumers buy the warranty, what extra protections it gives the consumer over the rights they already have under the Consumers Guarantees Act (CGA).

Buying from an Auction

• Consumers will be protected by the CGA when they buy goods or services from a business by competitive tender or at auction (including online such as Trade Me).
• Key point: All items will have the same protections, regardless of how they are sold, including at live auctions, and online and in online bidding processes.

Layby Sales

• Businesses will have to give consumers written information about the terms of their Layby, including their cancellation rights.

New Delivery guarantee

• If a consumer buys goods from a business and the business also agrees to deliver the goods to the consumer, they will be responsible for making sure those goods arrive on time and in good condition.
The business or trader must address your CGA rights and they cannot pass the matter to their courier/delivery company.

Online purchases

• Consumers will be protected by the CGA when they buy goods or services from a business online. This includes when they bid for them in an online auction.
• Business must identify themselves as a trader when they sell online. Declaration of trader status applies online only.
Proof of claims about a product or service
• Businesses won’t be able to make unsubstantiated claims’, which are claims about a product or service that they don’t have evidence or reasonable grounds to make. For example, if a business claims a “half-price sale”, the business will need to provide sales records, or other evidence of what price they usually sell goods at.

Uninvited direct sales (formerly door-to-door sales)

• Consumers will be able to cancel a contract for goods or services within five working days if a business approaches them uninvited at home or at work, by phone or in person. The right to cancel during the cooling off period will apply no matter how the goods or services are paid for – whether using a credit agreement or using cash.

Unsolicited goods and services

• Businesses won’t be able to demand payment for any goods or services consumers have not requested. An example is where a business leaves a box of greeting cards in your mailbox, with the idea that you will buy them.

The above points cover the more significant law changes however there have been other changes which are useful to be aware of. For more information, visit, email or call your local CAB.

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