Know your rights
Getting repair work done
When you get something repaired, be specific about what work you want done, so you don’t have to pay for anything extra. If extra work is done, the repairer may undo it as long as they don’t damage your property. If unsure, get an assessment and a written quote first. You may have to pay to get the products inspected and a quote prepared, as long as this charge is clearly displayed.
You can get a refund and compensation under the Fair Trading Act, if a repairer misleads you by claiming:
- work needs to be done when it is unnecessary
- they belong to a trade association or have some industry approval and this is untrue.
Getting repairs on faulty products or services
Return faulty consumer products or services to the retailer or supplier as soon as you discover a problem. Unless you misused or damaged the product, you will get free repairs under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA).
Read more about Faulty products and Faulty or unsatisfactory services.
If the faulty products or services are not covered by the CGA, you will have to pay. You may also be able to claim on your insurance. The repair services themselves are covered by the CGA, unless it is for a business purpose.
Disputes over the cost of repairs
If you get into a dispute over the cost of repairs, the repairer can keep your items until you pay. You might not want to pay the full amount because you didn’t ask for some of the repairs, or because you don’t think the repair was good enough. You can try negotiating a lower price with the repairer or you can agree to pay part or the full amount to get the item back and then go to the Disputes Tribunal to decide on the complaint.
But if they don’t hear from you after two months, they can sell the item under a repairer’s lien under the Wages Protection and Contractors' Liens Act Repeal Act (external link) .
Before they sell them, they have to give you one week’s notice. They can send you a letter if they know your address or they can put an ad in a local newspaper including:
- how much money is owing
- a description of the item
- the time and place of the sale and the name of the auctioneer.
The repairer can use the sales proceeds to pay for repairs and the cost of advertising and sales. Any extra money has to be given to the Registrar of the nearest District Court. The money is held there until you pick it up.