Campaigns and rights hero
6 October 2016

Mobile traders get biggest fines yet

Ace Marketing and Smart Shop punished in court.

Two more mobile traders have been fined after being taken to court by the Commerce Commission.

Ace Marketing, a Hamilton-based company, was fined $150,000 in Auckland District Court. It had pleaded guilty to 28 charges that included failing to provide customers with key information about their loans and misleading them about their rights regarding repossession and unforeseen hardship. The company also has to refund fees it charged relating to 1500 contracts.

Smart Shop, a Cambridge-based company trading as Smart Store, was fined $135,000 after pleading guilty to 11 charges for failing to provide the information required by the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act and breaching the Fair Trading Act. It made misleading statements in its loan contracts and didn’t provide customers with the required information when they took out an extended warranty.

The fines are the highest given to mobile traders taken to court by the commission.

Last week, North Island door-to-door seller Sales Concepts pleaded guilty to 10 charges under the Fair Trading Act. It had offered "Christmas Deal Bundles" – a package of electronic goods – on layby and falsely promised to deliver them in time for Christmas 2015 if customers were up to date with payments. Sales Concepts also made misleading representations about the products being made in New Zealand, the total price of the bundles, the inclusion of a delivery fee and the customers’ consumer and cancellation rights.

The commission has prosecuted nine mobile traders this year.

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