Your rights depend on:
- what sort of sale it was, eg layby, gift voucher, something on order for delivery, credit sale
- if the business was a registered company, or a sole trader or partnership
- if the business has closed down or been sold to new owners.
Sold to new owners
Whether you can get money back depends on whether the new owners are willing to honour claims.
If the new owners did not buy the previous owner’s liabilities then, unless otherwise stated in the purchase agreement, they don’t have to:
- honour gift vouchers issued by the previous owner
- complete orders placed with the previous owner that have not yet been delivered
- repair faulty products sold by the previous owner.
Unused gift voucher or credit note
Receivers, liquidators and administrators don’t have to accept gift vouchers or credit notes. This is because both a gift voucher and a credit note are the previous owner’s responsibility. It is unlikely that you will get any money back.
Specific layby rules in the Fair Trading Act give you some protection, as long as:
- you have not missed a payment within the last three months
- the products are still there (if there is not enough of the item to go to everyone who had it on layby, priority goes to those who put it on layby first)
- the goods are priced $15,000 or less.
Claim your money back from the receiver, liquidator or administrator if the products are not on the business's premises. You have priority over other unsecured creditors for the amount you have already paid.
But if you missed any payments, you lose your rights under the Fair Trading Act. You probably won’t get your money back.
Laybys and buy now, pay later
Product on order or deposit paid
If it's a registered company, contact the receiver, liquidator or administrator to see if you can get your product or money back. You have a right to try to get your money back, but the business might not have any money left to pay you.
Bought on credit
If you still owe money on something you bought on credit, you still have to make your payments — finance on credit sales is usually through a finance company that is separate to the retailer. There is no risk you will lose your products because you already have them.
Faulty product or service
If the business is a registered company under administration, contact the receivers or administrators to claim your rights for faulty products or services under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA).
If not, claim under the manufacturer’s warranty or contact the manufacturer directly to make a claim under the CGA. However, your rights are more limited than with a supplier, and depend on the warranty.
You may have other rights under an extended warranty if you bought one. Contact the provider to find out.
Any faulty products in for repairs are still your property. You should get them back, even if they are not repaired.
If you bought faulty products on finance, talk to your lender. They are also responsible for the CGA's quality guarantees and have the same obligations as the seller.