Guidance for consumers on Cyclone Gabrielle

While businesses are free to set their own prices, there has been some public concern about price increases on goods and services at this time. If you feel you’re being asked to pay too much Report price increases on Price Watch — Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Tips to remind consumers of some of their key consumer rights when it comes to buying online, car purchases and faulty products.

Buying a car

two males sitting in the car laughing

Dealer versus private

Buying a new or used car from a dealer – whether online, at a car yard or at an auction – gives you more consumer rights than if you buy a car privately.

That’s because dealers have to trade under the Consumer Guarantees Act. So you can seek a repair, replacement or refund if the car doesn’t meet one of the CGA guarantees.

Don’t get landed with someone else’s debt 

You can check if there is money owing on the car before you buy it.

Fixing a car

Mechanic standing under a vehicle fixing a tyre

If your mechanic hasn’t fixed the repairs you took your car in for, you can take it back to your mechanic and ask them to make it right.

It’s also a good idea to get a quote from your mechanic, before you book your car in. That way you know exactly what work is going to be done, and how much it will cost.


Faulty product

A man with an annoyed look on his face, looking down at a product he bought which could be faulty

When you buy from a shop or a website, if the product arrives damaged or doesn’t work properly, you have a right to go back to the seller and ask for it to be fixed, to be replaced or to get your money back.

If something breaks down just after its warranty has expired, you can also ask for a repair, replacement or refund.


Shopping online

A female sitting on a couch smiling down at her phone.

Shopping online is easy, but it can be harder to sort out problems, especially if you buy from overseas websites.

Before you click ‘buy’, stop and check:

  • Is the seller a New Zealand business? A website address with .nz at the end isn’t always a New Zealand business. Look for a phone number on the website and give it a call.
  • Is the website secure? Look for a padlock symbol next to the URL in your browser and check the website address starts with https.

If you buy from a private seller through a website, be careful as consumer laws may not apply if something goes wrong.

Getting a loan

A man sitting down at his desk with his hand over his mouth gazing out in the distance thinking.

There’s alot to think about before signing on the dotted line.

  • Can you afford the loan repayments?
  • How much will you be charged in interest and fees?
  • Do you understand the contract?

Get some help before you commit: