Did you know that the Consumer Guarantees Act protects you from problems associated with services as well as products?

Services are incredibly varied and sometimes quite complex. They may be provided by tradespeople, professionals, online traders, and retailers - essentially anyone who is a New Zealand business offering services for payment. And let’s face it, services are needed by most of us at some stage in our lives (and often the cost is a substantial one).

A common problem arises from building, repairs and maintenance work.

Take the example:

Jan wanted to get her lounge and dining areas repainted and wall-papered. She got two painters to come and look at the work required, and provide quotes. One of them said that some plastering was needed in some areas to make for a good finish. She agreed to his quotation and work started.

Two weeks after the work was completed, Jan was home during the day and noticed, with the sun on a certain angle, that there were bumps and lumps in the wallpaper. She hadn’t noticed this at the time that she paid the bill.

What should Jan do?

Under the Consumer Guarantees Act, Jan can expect services to be carried out with reasonable care and skill. In other words, carried out by someone with appropriate competency and skills, and done with care and to a reasonable quality standard.

With a faulty product, you can return it and ask for a repair, replacement or refund. But that’s not so easy with a service. So in this situation, Jan needs to get her painter back in, show him the problem and ask him to rectify it – at no cost to her.

This story had a great outcome.

Jan’s painter was very aware of the Consumer Guarantees Act and his obligations. Plus, he really believed in the value of looking after his customers so he promised to remedy the situation. He explained that he hadn’t carried out the work himself and apologised for not checking the standard of the work. He stripped the wallpaper, re-plastered the wall, purchased additional wallpaper and repapered the wall himself – all at no additional cost to Jan.

The Consumer Guarantees Act in a nutshell

  • Both buyers and sellers are protected under the Consumer Guarantees Act.
  • The CGA gives you rights when you buy both goods and services for personal use. 
  • If you’ve bought something from a New Zealand business, you are protected by law.

Power up on the Consumer Guarantees Act