Consumer Trusted

Our accreditation programme helps Kiwis recognise businesses that put the consumer first.

Consumer Trusted businesses.

The Consumer Trusted accreditation programme helps New Zealanders recognise businesses that provide an exceptional customer experience. Here's how it works.

What is Consumer Trusted?

Consumer Trusted accreditation is awarded to businesses and products that meet our strict Code of Conduct. The Code has nine key principles designed to ensure high standards of customer service and confidence.

If you buy from a Consumer Trusted business you’re dealing with a market leader that puts the consumer first.

Our advisory service deals with about 4000 complaints and inquiries each year – and that’s just the tip of consumer dissatisfaction. Our accreditation programme aims to assist business to meet their obligations under the law, lead the way in raising standards and inspire businesses to up their game by recognising those delivering exceptional service.

Any Kiwi retail or service business can apply for Consumer Trusted accreditation.

Code of Conduct

At the heart of the accreditation programme are the nine key principles of the Consumer Code of Conduct (PDF, 685KB). The nine key principles are:

  1. Customer service – Exceptional customer service
  2. Returns, refunds and complaints – Putting it right
  3. Online presence – Up-to-date and informative
  4. Contracts – Fair, robust and easy to understand
  5. Pricing and payment – Clear pricing and responsible payment options
  6. Privacy and personal data – Safe and secure
  7. Advertising and promotion – Accurate
  8. Industry standards – Met or exceeded
  9. Over and above the law – Individual business commitment

Businesses are assessed against all the standards under each principle. When all standards are met a business is awarded accreditation. The Programme Rules (PDF, 592KB) govern how the Code is assessed and compliance is monitored.

The accreditation process

Businesses complete an Expression of Interest (38.1 KB), which allows Consumer NZ to carry out initial due diligence. This includes checking for:

  • compliance advice, warnings or successful prosecutions by the Commerce Commission
  • any Disputes Tribunal information about its handling of disputes
  • any feedback from consumers received by our consumer advisory service
  • customer service ratings in any of our customer-satisfaction surveys.
  • If the Expression of Interest is accepted the business is assessed against all the standards under each principle of our Code of Conduct. When all standards are met a business is awarded accreditation for a period of 12 months.

Compliance is monitored on an ongoing basis. During the accreditation period businesses are mystery shopped and we take into account any feedback about the business through our advisory service.

Consumer Trusted businesses

Consumer Trusted products

FAQs for consumers

How does the programme operate?

Any Kiwi retail or service business can apply for Consumer Trusted accreditation. Businesses are assessed against our Consumer Code of Conduct (PDF, 685KB). The Code has nine key principles designed to ensure high standards of customer service and confidence.

Programme Rules govern how the code is assessed and compliance monitored. Assessments are carried out annually and include on-going review by mystery shoppers and feedback received via the Consumer NZ advisory service.

Why was Consumer Trusted developed?

The Consumer Trusted accreditation programme was developed to help you choose retail and service providers you can trust. The programme also aims to assist business to meet their obligations under the law, lead the way in raising standards and inspire businesses to up their game by recognising those delivering exceptional service.

Do businesses pay a fee?

Businesses pay a fee to be assessed against the Consumer Trusted Code of Conduct. The fee includes pre-assessment, head office, site and communication centre assessment plus mystery shopping.

Should accreditation be awarded businesses pay a non-exclusive 12-month licence fee to use the Consumer Trusted brandmark in their marketing and promotion activity.

Assessment and Licence Fees are variable based on assessment requirements and business turnover. An indication of fees is as follows.

  • Large retail/service provider: approximately $50,000
  • Medium retail/service provider: approximately $35,000
  • Small retail/service provider: approximately $20,000

How does this affect Consumer NZ’s independence?

Our independence is what sets us apart from other organisations. We select products for testing based on market research. Consumer Trusted businesses have no involvement in our testing programme.

How will the income from the accreditation programme be used?

Revenue from the Consumer Trusted accreditation programme is used to cover the costs of the programme and increase the scope of our research, testing and advocacy work.

What measures has Consumer put in place to ensure robustness and credibility?

In the first instance a business must meet and comply with the Consumer NZ Code of Conduct (PDF, 685KB).

The programme Rules (PDF, 592KB) govern how the Code is assessed and compliance monitored. This includes annual head office, retail site and communication centre assessments, on-going review by mystery shoppers and feedback received through our advisory service.

What if things go wrong?

The accreditation programme is designed to guarantee you fair outcomes but occasionally things go wrong. Any customer of a Consumer Trusted business is able to use our advisory service for advice regarding an issue with the business or to make a complaint about the business. Call us on 0800 266 786 and we’ll help you resolve the issue.

Members can also share feedback on any of our Trusted businesses.

Consumer NZ reserves the right to withdraw accreditation from a Consumer Trusted business where there is evidence of non-compliance with the Code of Conduct (686 KB). Processes for termination of accreditation are outlined in the programme Rules (PDF, 592KB).

Can any business apply for accreditation?

The accreditation application and assessment process begins with businesses submitting an Expression of Interest, ensuring Consumer NZ can complete due diligence on each application. This includes a review of any breaches of the Fair Trading Act, actions or warnings from the Commerce Commission, Disputes Tribunal hearings and our internal advisory service records. If an Expression of Interest is accepted businesses are required to complete a self-assessment against the Code of Conduct before any further assessment begins.

Why are staff policies and environmental impacts not addressed in the Code of Conduct?

At this time the Code of Conduct is focused on consumer law – the Consumer Guarantees Act and the Fair Trading Act. Human Resource policies and environmental standards are covered under other laws and regulations currently beyond the scope of this programme. However, as the programme grows we will be looking to add further features.

If you have any comments you would like to share on this, email us at info@consumer.org.nz or use our feedback form.

More information for businesses

More information for businesses

Consumer Trusted.

More information for businesses

Our Consumer Trusted accreditation programme recognises businesses committed to delivering exceptional and fair customer experiences. If you’re a market leader that puts the consumer first or want to become one you can find out more here.

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