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Faulty products among top consumer complaints

Fifty-eight percent of consumers have experienced problems with a good or service in the past year, our latest survey shows.

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Complaints about retailers failing to deliver goods topped the list. Twenty-nine percent reported delays or non-delivery of a product, up from 23% last year. This rise comes as more consumers are shopping online and relying on traders to come through with the goods.

About one in five consumers had struck problems with products that didn’t work as expected, while 17% had work done by a trader that wasn’t up to standard.

Fourteen percent reported being given misleading or incorrect information by a retailer, behaviour that breaches the Fair Trading Act (FTA).

Nine percent said they’d been given a contract that contained unfair terms, which also breaches the FTA.

One in 10 reported problems getting a replacement or refund for a faulty good while 7% said they had safety concerns about a product. Scams were reported by 9% of consumers.

While consumer law provides protection for shoppers, our survey found a significant proportion (21%) didn’t feel confident about their legal rights. More than one in three (37%) worried about dud products and being ripped off by traders.

I am well aware of my rights under consumer law

I am well aware of my rights under consumer law

I worry about dud products and being ripped off

I worry about dud products and being ripped off

GUIDE TO THE GRAPHS OUR DATA are from a nationally representative survey of 1022 New Zealanders aged 18 years and over.