COVID-19 took the world by surprise, and it appears it has been felt by almost everyone in one way or the other. It has changed the way we live, how we interact and has even touched our experience as consumers.
Since March 2021, Consumer Services has undertaken a long-term survey of New Zealanders to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on consumers over time. Round three of the survey has just been released and suggests that 23% of consumers have experienced problems with something they had bought in the last six months with delivery delays, faulty products and poor quality being the most common problems experienced.
The full report of all three waves of the study can be found here.
COVID-19 consumer impacts study reports(external link) — MBIE
This report has been used to inform the latest consumer awareness campaign from Consumer Protection.
Buy with confidence. Know your consumer rights
The campaign aims to raise awareness of consumer rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act and provides guidance specifically around how consumers can protect themselves based on the issues that have been raised in the survey. These include when they:
- have bought a poor quality or faulty item
- used payment options that have hidden costs
- cancelled contracts
- are buying second hand items
- had delays or damaged items in delivered purchases.
The campaign is designed to help people who would, under normal circumstances, have a small buffer to keep them from needing financial assistance, but because of rise in cost of living, may find themselves changing their spending habits. By reminding them of their rights and ways to shop smarter, we can help ensure what they do doesn’t result in further financial loss.
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