If things go wrong
Contact the seller to try to resolve any dispute about pricing or advertising first. This applies to private sellers as well as businesses.
What you can ask for depends on what's gone wrong. Sometimes it will be a partial refund.
You can cancel a sale or contract and ask for a full refund if:
- The product doesn't match the seller's description.
- You only agreed to a service contract because of false or misleading advertising or pricing, and the difference between promise and reality would have a major impact on you.
- You wouldn't have bought a product or service if the seller had told the truth.
You can ask for compensation if misleading information resulted in loss or damage, including if you:
- paid extra bills or other costs
- did extra tasks that were unnecessary
- suffered distress.
How to complain
We have information on solving problems with specific products and services, eg cars, phone and broadband, electricity and gas, in our Help by product and services section.
Help by product and service
Take your complaint further
If you can’t resolve your issue directly with the business, the Disputes Tribunal or District Court may be your next step. Bear in mind, if the seller is overseas it may be harder to enforce any formal decision.
About the tribunal(external link) — Disputes Tribunal
You can report the business to the Commerce Commission if:
- you think you have been misled
- the business has said something that is not true.
Commerce Commission can't investigate every complaint, or solve your individual problem. But they can warn or prosecute the business. Your information helps them assess which consumer issues are causing the greatest harm.
Make a complaint(external link) — Commerce Commission
Get support at any point from:
- Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) — a free, independent service, run by volunteers. CAB can advise you on your consumer rights and obligations, in person, by phone, or online.
- Community Law Centre — offers free one-on-one legal advice to people with limited finances. The organisation has 24 community law centres throughout the country. You can find legal information and other resources on its website.
Find a CAB(external link) — Citizens Advice Bureau
Our law centres(external link) — Community Law Centres