20jun kitset hero copy
25 June 2020

Kitset home director pleads guilty to Fair Trading Act breaches

Company director took money for goods that were never supplied.

The director of a kitset home company that we warned consumers not to deal with has pleaded guilty to breaching the Fair Trading Act.

Emma Gestro, director of Get Design and Sales, was taken to court by the Commerce Commission for taking payments for kitset cabins when she didn’t have reasonable grounds to believe the goods would be supplied.

In 2017, we put out a warning advising consumers not to deal with Get Design and Sales. The kitset building company operated several websites, including mydiy.co.nz, kiwi-built.co.nz and econobach.co.nz, and boasted it had “NZ’s largest range of quality sheds and cabins”.

Customers were left thousands of dollars out of pocket after they paid for cabins that were never delivered. Several customers took the company to the Disputes Tribunal. Despite the tribunal ordering Get Design and Sales to provide refunds, it failed to comply.

Charges laid by the commission relate to Ms Gestro’s conduct with three customers between July 2016 and July 2017 when the company was placed in liquidation. Ms Gestro is due to be sentenced on 21 August 2020.

After the kitset home company was wound up, Ms Gestro set up a dating website called Private Event.

Ms Gestro was previously a director and joint shareholder of Magenta Marketing, which operated in liquidation from 1994 to 2002 before being removed from the Companies Register. During that period, she was also prosecuted for fraud and required to pay back $13,000 to a former employer.

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Michelle R.
06 Jul 2020
Good news to see Emma Gestro prosecuted

We were 'almost' victims of Emma Gestro. We sought early help from a lawyer and through this managed to get supply of most of our building materials. Whilst we were still out of pocket to the tune of quite a few thousand, due to some items not arriving, we did not lose as much money as some. With the benefit of hindsight we were too trusting - and should have run a mile when we saw that she had been involved in another company that had gone into liquidation.

Ronald C.
27 Jun 2020

Supermarkets have a duopoly with no competition, example staff in Scotland can buy food at 10% off,and have done so for about 50 years so much for the tight Scots. Many people from overseas say that we are being ripped off. If Consumer does not keep an eye Open who will? You will find shoppers will join, must be better Value than A2Milk? Ron Chamberlain Tauranga.

Maureen D.
27 Jun 2020
How to look into a companies background before paying large deposits

Interesting article on this scam kitset company. Would be great to see advice on how the average consumer can check out the financial stability of companies before handing over large deposits.

Ralph C.
02 Jul 2020
Check the Companies Office, MSD Insolvency register and New Zealand Gazette

When dealing with an unknown person or company do name searches in public databases of directors and key people behind the business.

If the guy (or gal) you are about to hand money over to has a history of involvement with companies which have gone into liquidation leaving customers and other creditors high and dry you may decide the risk of dealing with such person(s) outweighs the benefit.