2017

August

  • Mitre 10 warned over price claims 23 Aug 2017
    Mitre 10’s “lowest price” claims have earned the store another reprimand from the Commerce Commission, after its investigation concluded the claims risked misleading consumers.
  • Gyms pulled up for unfair terms 21 Aug 2017
    Major gym chains have been told to get rid of unfair terms in their consumer contracts, following a Commerce Commission review.
  • Warnings sent over Voltaren, Panadol and Maxiclear 16 Aug 2017
    Two pharmaceutical companies have received warning letters from the Commerce Commission over identical products marketed as being able to help with specific ailments.
  • Consumer NZ names latest Top Brand award winners 16 Aug 2017
    Seven brands boasting products that deliver top performance, customer satisfaction and reliability are the latest winners of Consumer NZ Top Brand awards.
  • Four telcos get warning letters 15 Aug 2017
    Spark, Vodafone, MyRepublic and 2degrees have been told off by the Commerce Commission for promotional activity likely to have breached the Fair Trading Act.
  • No vitamin benefits from light-proof milk 11 Aug 2017
    Despite claims light-proofed containers protect the vitamins in milk, Consumer NZ testing reveals there’s little difference in nutrient content between major milk brands.
  • Flick awarded People’s Choice 08 Aug 2017
    Seventy-one percent of Flick customers were very satisfied with the provider, compared with the industry average of 45%.
  • Duty-free products not always cheaper 07 Aug 2017
    A survey of 33 duty-free items finds only 10 are cheaper at duty-free stores than other retailers.
  • Banking Ombudsman turns 25 03 Aug 2017
    When Mr G, 81, was approached by a young woman who had seen him struggling with his groceries, he had no idea that “kindness” would see his bank accounts cleared out.
  • 10,000 support sneaky fees petition 02 Aug 2017
    Ten thousand people have put their name to Consumer NZ’s online petition calling for law changes to clamp down on misleading pricing practices.
  • In search of Plain English 02 Aug 2017
    We’re looking for documents or webpages that left you scratching your head. We want nominations for the People’s Choice category of the annual WriteMark Plain English Awards. The People’s Choice category is sponsored by Consumer NZ.
  • Gourmet salt manufacturer breaches code 02 Aug 2017
    A “gourmet” salt manufacturer has been told to drop its label claims, following our complaint to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

July

  • Mercury's free day of power falls flat 28 Jul 2017
    On 25 May, Shortland Street marked a quarter century on our screens with an explosive 90-minute anniversary episode, featuring a volcanic eruption that smothered Auckland in a deadly cloud of ash. Power giant Mercury Energy celebrated the show’s 25th birthday by offering customers free electricity on the day the episode aired.
  • Top-priced stockings not top performer 27 Jul 2017
    Consumer NZ’s latest test of stockings found you don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for a decent pair of tights this winter.
  • 123 Mart sold unsafe toys and nightwear 18 Jul 2017
    123 Mart has been found guilty in the Auckland District Court on 17 charges under the Fair Trading Act.
  • 10 tips for staying warm for less 13 Jul 2017
    Brace yourself. The worst storm of the year has landed and experts predict at least 2 more days of icy temperatures, howling gales and torrential rain. Our top 10 energy-saving tips will help reduce your overall electricity consumption, meaning you won’t feel guilty for having a toasty home.
  • Which beauty claims can you trust? 11 Jul 2017
    Claims anti-ageing products are “scientifically proven” or “8 out of 10 women saw results” are almost falling off the shelf in the beauty aisle. How do you sort the real science from the junk? Here’s what to be wary of, and what to look for, when you next hit the beauty aisle.
  • Big powercos fail to impress customers 6 Jul 2017
    A Consumer NZ survey of customer satisfaction with energy providers has found the big 5 powercos continue to deliver underwhelming service.
  • "Laybuy" name risks misleading consumers 5 Jul 2017
    Several clothing retailers, including Glassons and Hallensteins, are promoting a “buy now, pay later” service that lets customers take home their new threads before they’ve paid for them.
  • Board election results 2017 5 Jul 2017
    Kate Tokeley, senior lecturer in law at Victoria University of Wellington, has been elected to the Consumer NZ board.

June

  • “Big Winter Switch” offers are here 30 Jun 2017
    If you signed up for the “Big Winter Switch” campaign, your offer will now be waiting in your inbox. We’ve crunched the numbers and checked out the contracts to see if it’s an offer you can’t refuse.
  • Consumer NZ issues dating site warning 28 Jun 2017
    Consumer NZ advises people to avoid dating site Private Event (privateevent.co.nz).
  • Pigcare label risked misleading consumers 27 Jun 2017
    The “Pigcare” label stamped on local pork products risked breaching the Fair Trading Act and misleading consumers about the animals’ welfare, a Commerce Commission investigation found.
  • Broadband Compare Awards launched 14 Jun 2017
    The inaugural Broadband Compare Awards launched this week in response to the increasingly diversified sector of more than 100 internet providers offering services across the country.
  • Property manager gives bad smoke alarm advice 08 Jun 2017
    A property management company is giving landlords shoddy advice about smoke alarm requirements for rental properties, and tenants could end up footing the bill.
  • Vodafone's FibreX risks misleading consumers 01 Jun 2017
    People considering signing up for Vodafone’s FibreX service might be surprised to learn they won’t actually be getting fibre broadband.
  • Mercury sorry for “disconnection” letter 01 Jun 2017
    A former Mercury Energy customer has got an unreserved apology after a letter from the company claimed he needed to open a new account within 7 days or his power could be cut off.
  • Toxic garden pesticides banned 01 Jun 2017
    Garden pesticides containing a broad-spectrum fungicide will be banned from sale from November.
  • Consumer NZ steps up fight for CoOL labelling 01 Jun 2017
    Today we stood up for the 71% of Kiwis who want to know where their food comes from, presenting our submission on the Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill.

May

  • Spot prices rise as lake levels fall 31 May 2017
    Low lake levels in the South Island saw wholesale (spot) electricity prices rise sharply towards the end of May. What does that mean for consumers?
  • Consumer supporting Safer Homes Event 26 May 2017
    Consumer NZ is supporting the inaugural Safer Homes Event being held in Wellington, 26 to 27 May 2017.
  • BNZ awarded People’s Choice 25 May 2017
    BNZ has topped the latest Consumer NZ KiwiSaver customer satisfaction survey. It has been named as the Consumer NZ 2017 People’s Choice award winner for KiwiSaver providers.
  • Blatant lies used to sell bee pollen 19 May 2017
    Lies about the origin of the bee pollen inside NatureBee products has seen the company behind it and its director fined $526,500.
  • Resellers scalping Ed Sheeran tickets 17 May 2017
    Tickets to Ed Sheeran’s March 2018 concerts are being sold on ticket resale website Viagogo at hugely inflated prices.
  • Pricing practices misleading shoppers 11 May 2017
    Consumer NZ welcomes the Commerce Commission’s announcement it’s targeting retailers’ misleading pricing practices.
  • Spark’s telephone network to be upgraded 09 May 2017
    Spark’s 30-year-old Public Switched Telephone Network is being phased out over the next 5 years, with a new next-gen system taking its place. This new IP-based network is called the Converged Communications Network.
  • Join us at our AGM this June 05 May 2017
    Consumer NZ’s 2017 AGM will be held on Friday, 30 June at 1pm in our boardroom, Level 1, 204 Thorndon Quay, Wellington.
  • Want financial advice? Save $100,000 05 May 2017
    Financial advisers believe it’s not viable to have clients with retirement savings less than $100,000, a study by the Financial Markets Authority reports.
  • Scam gives access to your Gmail account 04 May 2017
    A massive phishing scam was launched overnight that gives attackers access to your Gmail account.
  • Cold & flu remedies lack evidence 04 May 2017
    Expensive over-the-counter cold and flu remedies are often no more effective than paracetamol, honey and putting your feet up for a few days, says Consumer NZ.

April

  • Vote for your Consumer Board 28 Apr 2017
    This year there are 3 vacancies on our board and if you're a paying member you get to help decide who should fill them.
  • Some emergency kits a recipe for disaster 28 Apr 2017
    A Consumer NZ report on pre-made emergency survival kits found most either lacked key items, contained gear of poor quality or weren’t good value.
  • Don’t deal with this electronics retailer 27 Apr 2017
    An online electronics retailer that advertises goods to Kiwi consumers and claims to have a local office has failed to comply with a court order to refund a customer for a faulty phone. The customer was told she had to pursue the case in Hong Kong against its parent company.
  • NZ-owned banks win People’s Choice 24 Apr 2017
    Consumer NZ has given TSB Bank, The Co-operative Bank and Kiwibank 2017 People’s Choice awards for banking.
  • Consumer investigating ticket resellers 20 Apr 2017
    Consumer NZ is joining forces with consumer groups in Australia and the UK to investigate complaints about ticket reselling sites such as Viagogo and Ticketmaster Resale.
  • Country of origin labelling a step closer 13 Apr 2017
    Kiwis are one step closer to being able to identify where their fruit and veges come from after the Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill passed its first reading in Parliament yesterday.
  • Avoid this kitset building company 10 Apr 2017
    We’re warning consumers not to deal with Get Design and Sales, a kitset building company that operates websites mydiy.co.nz, kiwi-built.co.nz and econobach.co.nz.
  • George goes bush with his survival kit 10 Apr 2017
    As part of an upcoming report on survival kits, our writer George Block has ventured into the bush of Matiu/Somes Island to see if his homemade version can get him through 3 days.
  • New Zealand less clean and green 07 Apr 2017
    “Gifted, but often led astray.” That’s the crux of New Zealand’s latest environmental report card from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
  • Food price rise at 5-year high 07 Apr 2017
    Food prices rose 2.2% in the year to February, the biggest annual increase in 5 years.
  • More sneaky fees singled out 07 Apr 2017
    We’ve had a fantastic response to our Sneaky Fees campaign. We launched the campaign last month to get retailers to come clean on price and stop adding extra charges to the advertised cost of goods and services.
  • Vehicle complaints on the rise 07 Apr 2017
    Complaints to the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal, the specialist body set up to handle car complaints, rose 33% last year.
  • Gourmet salt claims may mislead 05 Apr 2017
    High-priced rock and sea salts promoted as healthier choices risk misleading consumers about their benefits, our report has found.
  • 3 ways to save on airport parking 04 Apr 2017
    The cost of leaving your car at the airport while you’re away can add big bucks to your trip. Rates for an hour’s parking at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are more than double what you pay to park in the city centres.

March

  • Ford recalls Kugas and Fiestas 30 Mar 2017
    Ford is recalling about 1000 Kugas and Fiesta STs because of the risk a fire could start under the hood.
  • Trader fined $145k for Christmas deals 15 Mar 2017
    A company that sold door-to-door in the North Island has been fined $145,000 for misleading claims about its "Christmas Deal Bundles" and other breaches of the Fair Trading Act.
  • Sneaky fees costing shoppers millions 14 Mar 2017
    Consumers could be paying $68 million each year in extra fees retailers are adding to the advertised price of goods and services.
  • Kiwis back country of origin labelling 09 Mar 2017
    71% of Kiwis want mandatory country of origin labelling (CoOL) for fruit and vegetables. It’s a clear message to parliament the law needs to change.
  • Tegel and Ingham get chook size warning 07 Mar 2017
    Chicken producers Ingham and Tegel have been warned for including stuffing and marinade in the labelled weight of their chooks.
  • Lender must refund $1.4m in fees 07 Mar 2017
    People who took out loans with internet-based lender Rapid Loans are getting a refund of the unreasonable fees they were charged – plus an extra 5%.
  • Consumer Rights Day focuses on internet age 03 Mar 2017
    15 March marks World Consumer Rights Day. This year’s focus is on consumer rights in an internet age. Which online services we can trust? What happens to data we share? What are our rights when we buy online?
  • Kitset cabin plan comes unstuck 03 Mar 2017
    A kitset building company boasting “NZ’s largest range of quality sheds and cabins” has left a Consumer member out of pocket and failed to comply with a Disputes Tribunal order to refund her money.
  • Mobile trader gets jail sentence 03 Mar 2017
    The owner of mobile truck company Flexi Buy, which sold door-to-door in the North Island, has been sentenced to 2 years in jail.
  • Add-on car insurance investigated 01 Mar 2017
    Investigations by Australian regulators have shed light on the relationship between insurers and car dealers selling insurance on commission, which can reach 79% of premiums.

2017

February

  • 4 great buys for uni students 24 Feb 2017
    Setting up a student flat? Here are 4 products that do a great job but are also really cheap.
  • Truck shop targeted the most vulnerable 23 Feb 2017
    A mobile trader that sold door-to-door in Auckland, Whangarei and Hastings has been fined $47,250 for not telling customers about their rights.
  • Scam callers preying on vulnerable 13 Feb 2017
    Scammers pretending to work for telcos are targeting elderly and vulnerable people, with three Tasman residents alone losing $120,000.
  • Carpet Mill becomes Consumer Trusted 13 Feb 2017
    Carpet Mill is the latest company to be able to call itself Consumer Trusted. The Kiwi carpet-maker joins Flick Electric Co, Heartland Seniors Finance, Inspire Net, Resene ColorShop, Shoe Clinic, Skinny Mobile, Triton Hearing, and WooHoo NZ Tax Refunds in achieving the Consumer NZ accreditation.
  • Bike Barn fined for fake specials 10 Feb 2017
    The two companies that operate Bike Barn have been fined $800,000 for using pricing tactics that led customers to believe they were getting a bargain.
  • Trade Me shoppers to have added protection 09 Feb 2017
    Trade Me shoppers that find the item they’ve bought doesn’t arrive or isn’t what was described will soon have added protection.
  • $1m fine for misleading Nurofen claims 03 Feb 2017
    Nurofen manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) has copped a $1.08 million fine for 10 charges relating to its Nurofen specific pain range products.
  • Member wins refund for vehicle costs 03 Feb 2017
    An Auckland car dealer has been ordered to refund $4300 for charging a couple more for their new vehicle than the price they’d agreed with the sales rep.
  • Telco survey results revealed 02 Feb 2017
    Our latest telco survey shows internet and mobile companies struggle with the basics of customer service, such as ensuring their customers’ bills are accurate.

January

  • Healthcare tops list of Kiwis’ concerns 31 Jan 2017
    Healthcare costs, rising house prices and water quality have emerged as Kiwi consumers’ biggest worries for the future in our latest survey.
  • 2017 board nominations now open 31 Jan 2017
    Are you, or someone you know, interested in being on Consumer NZ’s board? This year, we have 3 vacancies.
  • Ford investigating Kuga fire 30 Jan 2017
    Ford is investigating whether a Kuga SUV that caught fire in Auckland is linked to engine fires in South Africa that have led to 4500 of the vehicles being recalled.
  • Mustang scores rare 2-star safety rating 26 Jan 2017
    The Ford Mustang’s arrival in New Zealand was exciting for a lot of people. Nearly 1000 have sold since they hit our market in late 2015, making them the highest-selling vehicle before getting an Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) rating.
  • Photo studio breaches Privacy Act 20 Jan 2017
    Shopping mall photography business Expression Sessions is in trouble on both sides of the Tasman.
  • Cots cost Baby City $39k fine 20 Jan 2017
    Baby City has been fined $39,000 in the Auckland District Court for selling two models of cots that didn't comply with the safety standard.
  • Ban on microbead products proposed 16 Jan 2017
    Consumer pressure has seen several cosmetic manufacturers agree to voluntarily phase-out plastic microbeads from their products. Environment Minister Nick Smith has now announced a proposal to ban sales of personal care products containing these beads.

2016

December

  • Bee pollen claims land company in court 20 Dec 2016
    The company and director behind NatureBee Potentiated Bee Pollen will face court over claims the product was New Zealand-made when it was allegedly from China.
  • Sort out insurance before you go 19 Dec 2016
    Insurance. It’s the last thing you want to think about with Christmas just around the corner. But between wrapping presents and packing bags, Consumer NZ says you should check your cover.
  • Portability service in place for 5 more years 19 Dec 2016
    Consumers will continue to be able to keep their phone number when they change providers for the next 5 years.
  • Godfreys fined over extended warranties 19 Dec 2016
    Consumer NZ is pleased the Commerce Commission has made an example of vacuum cleaner retailer Godfreys over its selling of misleading extended warranties. We don't believe extended warranties offer any benefits over what the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) already provides.
  • Wipe companies to face court 16 Dec 2016
    Kimberly-Clark Australia, Pental and Pental Products are being taken to court by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for making false or misleading claims about their Kleenex Cottonelle and White King “flushable wipes”.
  • Youi slugged with $320,000 fine 16 Dec 2016
    Insurance company Youi NZ has been fined $320,000 in the Auckland District Court for breaching the Fair Trading Act.
  • Nurofen maker's fine tripled in court 16 Dec 2016
    The maker of Nurofen has had its fine for misleading conduct tripled in Australia.
  • Test highlights raw chicken risks 11 Dec 2016
    A Consumer NZ test of 40 fresh chicken products found campylobacter in nearly two-thirds of samples.
  • New line charges proposed 09 Dec 2016
    Lines companies want to change the way you pay for power. This could have a major impact on your bill, so we want to hear your thoughts.
  • Harvey Norman worst in survey 07 Dec 2016
    Harvey Norman is one of the loudest retailers and one of the biggest. According to our latest retailer satisfaction survey, 3000 of the 21,000 appliance, technology and household purchases our respondents made in the past 12 months were at the store.
  • Campaign cracks down on health treatments 07 Dec 2016
    A new campaign looking to cut down the number of unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures carried out by health professionals has been launched in New Zealand today.
  • Powerswitch website relaunched 07 Dec 2016
    Checking if you could cut your power bill by switching to another power company has got easier with the relaunch of our Powerswitch website.
  • Deal sites can’t escape consumer law 06 Dec 2016
    Daily deal websites promise limited-time offers on everything from half-price hair-dos to holiday cruises. But they continue to spark complaints from consumers who’ve been stuck with a dud purchase and struggle to get the deal site to put things right.
  • “Winners” of Bad Taste Awards announced 05 Dec 2016
    Consumer NZ has announced the “winners” of its inaugural Bad Taste Food Awards.

November

  • Inaction on palm oil labelling disappoints 30 Nov 2016
    A decision on palm oil labelling has been put off until next year after government ministers called for more research. The delay is a huge disappointment for consumers who want to know whether the oil is in the products they’re buying.
  • More antibiotics in food production 25 Nov 2016
    Sales of antibiotics for use on the farm have risen 13% since 2011.
  • More retailers drop expiry dates 09 Nov 2016
    Hallensteins, Macpac and Bike Barn are the latest retailers to drop expiry dates on their gift cards in response to a Consumer NZ campaign.
  • 2016 Plain English winner announced 06 Nov 2016
    People’s Choice awards for the best and worst of business writing were announced at a gala dinner in Wellington last night.
  • Portability service looks set to continue 4 Nov 2016
    The Commerce Commission's recommendation to extend phone number portability services until 2021 is good news for consumers.
  • Telcos to blacklist Note 7s 4 Nov 2016
    The country's telcos will soon blacklist all Samsung Note 7 phones in an attempt to make people bring them in.
  • People’s Choice for Insurance announced 4 Nov 2016
    We’ve awarded Medical Assurance Society and FMG Insurance the 2016 People’s Choice awards for insurance.
  • $7500 data bill among telco complaints 3 Nov 2016
    A complaint from a consumer facing a $7500 mobile data bill was among the 2600 inquiries recorded by the Telecommunication Dispute Resolution (TDR) scheme this year.
  • Considering solar? New calculator can help 2 Nov 2016
    The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has released a new calculator that estimates how much value you could get from installing a solar PV system. However, for many households the results suggest solar panels could be more white elephant than golden ticket.
  • New raw milk regulations take effect 1 Nov 2016
    From today you can only buy raw unpasteurised milk from a farmer registered by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). Farmers can only sell raw milk directly from the farm gate or by providing a home delivery service. You are no longer able to collect your raw milk from collection points, such as your local health food store.

October

  • Fitbit reliability results disappoint 27 Oct 2016
    More than a quarter of Fitbit fitness trackers bought in the past three years needed repair or replacement, our technology reliability survey has found.
  • Noel Leeming sorry for sales push 26 Oct 2016
    Consumer NZ member Jenny Hare has got a refund and apology from appliance store Noel Leeming after she was sold an extended warranty she didn’t want or need.
  • Gigabit plans offer even more speed 20 Oct 2016
    The ultra-fast broadband (UFB) roll-out has been slow going. But if your household has had fibre installed, you can now take advantage of the increased speed it offers through a gigabit data plan.
  • $520 moisturiser fails to impress 19 Oct 2016
    Our test of moisturisers has found paying for a top-shelf cream doesn’t guarantee superior results.
  • Consumer groups criticise Samsung 14 Oct 2016
    Consumer rights organisations from around the world have criticised Samsung for its inconsistent approach during the Galaxy Note 7 recall and have outlined measures of what it needs to do to restore consumer trust.
  • $70,000 fine for fake yoghurt 14 Oct 2016
    A frozen yoghurt chain and its parent company have been fined $70,000 for selling fake yoghurt and misleading consumers about its health benefits.
  • Why Note 7 owners should get a refund 11 Oct 2016
    Samsung has issued a statement telling people to stop using original Galaxy Note 7 or the replacement phone customers were given as part of an earlier recall.
  • Trip ruined but insurer picks up big bill 10 Oct 2016
    Having travel insurance is as important as packing your plane ticket or passport. Just ask Consumer NZ life member Rob Crozier.
  • Survey shines light on grocery “specials” 06 Oct 2016
    Our annual supermarket price survey has named Pak’nSave as the cheapest store in the six centres where prices were tracked.
  • Mobile traders get biggest fines yet 06 Oct 2016
    Two more mobile traders have been fined after being taken to court by the Commerce Commission.
  • HP backs down on third-party ink block 06 Oct 2016
    Printer manufacturer HP has succumbed to pressure and is rolling back a printer update that stopped customers using cheaper third-party ink cartridges. The firmware security update, released last month, for OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet Pro X printers prevented cartridges without an Original HP security chip from working.
  • “Bad Taste” food awards launched 05 Oct 2016
    Do the claims food marketers use to pass off products as “healthier” choices leave a bad taste in your mouth? Now’s your chance to call them out on their claims.
  • Couple stuck with repair bill 05 Oct 2016
    A Christchurch couple faced a bill for more than $1000 for repairs to their belongings after a 1.5km shift across town in July. The removal company they hired broke a $1000 TV, damaged the top of a $900 dryer and chipped the edge of a $550 cabinet.
  • Youi fined $100,000 for sales tactics 04 Oct 2016
    Insurer Youi’s misleading sales tactics have seen it fined $100,000 by the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ).
  • Airbag recall back in spotlight 04 Oct 2016
    A Fair Go investigation has put the Takata airbag recall back in the spotlight, more than a year after car manufacturers started recalling cars. The government's recalls.govt.nz website crashed because of the number of people visiting it to see if their car is affected.

September

  • Booking websites ease rules in Aussie 28 Sep 2016
    If you’re planning a trip to Australia, it could pay to call hotels for their best price. They’ve just been given the OK to offer a better rate over the phone than what sites such as wotif.com and booking.com charge.
  • Spark, Vodafone top complaints 27 Sep 2016
    Spark and Vodafone have again topped the Commerce Commission’s list of the most complained about traders.
  • Retailers drop gift card expiry dates 26 Sep 2016
    Major retailers Countdown, Kathmandu and Noel Leeming are dropping 12-month expiry dates on their gift cards in response to a Consumer NZ campaign.
  • Nurofen manufacturer faces 10 charges 26 Sep 2016
    The Commerce Commission has brought 10 charges against Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of Nurofen, over the packaging of four pain-relief products.
  • Trustpower fined for misleading ads 22 Sep 2016
    Trustpower has been fined $390,000 after pleading guilty to misleading consumers about a bundled electricity and broadband deal.
  • "Green" sunscreen company warned 19 Sep 2016
    Makers of a children’s sunscreen marketed as “organic” have been warned by the Commerce Commission following a complaint from Consumer NZ.
  • Vodafone cops another fine 15 Sep 2016
    Vodafone has been fined $165,000 after pleading guilty to making false price representations.
  • Shoppers want better sugar labelling 09 Sep 2016
    A Consumer NZ survey found the majority of shoppers want better labelling of added sugars in processed foods.
  • Airline warned for pricing practices 05 Sep 2016
    Air Asia is the latest airline told to stop pre-ticking optional services that bump-up the price of a flight.
  • Godfreys pleads guilty over warranties 02 Sep 2016
    Retailer Godfreys has pleaded guilty to selling extended warranties that failed to provide customers with mandatory information about their legal rights.
  • Fly Buys and Airpoints going own ways 01 Sep 2016
    Fly Buys members won’t be able to put their points towards Airpoints from next month.
  • Cosmetic chemical up for review 01 Sep 2016
    A controversial preservative used in handwash and other consumer products is being considered for review by the Environmental Protection Authority, after it accepted there was “significant new information” about the chemical’s environmental effects.
  • Faulty $3600 oven replaced 01 Sep 2016
    Two Consumer members who splashed out $3600 on a new oven that ended up needing a series of repairs have successfully argued for a replacement from the manufacturer.

August

  • Unfair terms in energy contracts 30 Aug 2016
    A Commerce Commission review identified more than 50 potentially unfair terms in contracts used by electricity companies.
  • Looking for NZ’s best & worst documents 26 Aug 2016
    It’s that time of year again when we’re looking for website pages or documents that left you scratching your head. We want the best and worst documents or webpages you’ve come across for entry into the People’s Choice category of the annual Plain English Awards. The People’s Choice category is sponsored by Consumer NZ.
  • 123 Mart charged over unsafe products 22 Aug 2016
    Discount store The 123 Mart is facing 28 charges for selling toys and children’s clothing that failed to meet required standards.
  • Trustpower taken to court over ads 19 Aug 2016
    Trustpower is being taken to court by the Commerce Commission over the company's "good things happen when power and broadband get together" ads.
  • Cheap solar stick lights don’t shine 16 Aug 2016
    Solar-powered garden lights might be easy to install — you just stick them in the ground — and cost nothing to run, but our test of 25 outdoor lights found the cheapest ones only put out pitiful amounts of light.
  • Zoos campaign for palm oil labelling 15 Aug 2016
    Four New Zealand zoos are calling on the government to make labelling of palm oil in food mandatory.
  • Insurance firm Youi taken to court 11 Aug 2016
    Youi is facing 15 charges under the Fair Trading Act for allegedly misleading practices. The Commerce Commission filed the charges in the Auckland District Court, alleging the insurance company used misleading tactics to sell policies to people who were only interested in a quote.
  • Bills top electricity complaints 09 Aug 2016
    Close to 3000 complaints were made to the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner (EGCC) last year. Most (44 percent) were about bills and poor customer service (20 percent).
  • Latest statement from our board 09 Aug 2016
    Winter is typically a busy time at Consumer NZ when the cold weather kicks in and consumers head to the stores to stock up on goods to keep themselves warm. As consumers look to us to help them make sensible buying decisions, we see a corresponding increase in the number of people accessing our online services through the winter months. Check out our section on choosing the right heater if you haven’t already.
  • King Salmon farms fail guidelines 05 Aug 2016
    Salmon products from New Zealand King Salmon’s fish farms are marketed to consumers as a “green” choice. But latest monitoring results show three farms are falling short of environmental guidelines.
  • Vodafone sorry for faulty advice 05 Aug 2016
    A Vodafone customer told he had no rights under consumer law has earned an unreserved apology from the company.
  • Unit prices can save shoppers 13 percent 02 Aug 2016
    Shoppers could slash more than 10 percent off their grocery bill by checking the unit price before they buy, a new study finds.
  • Pre-approval letters land Harmoney in court 02 Aug 2016
    The Commerce Commission is taking peer-to-peer lender Harmoney to court, alleging the company’s marketing campaign misled consumers and breached the Fair Trading Act.
  • KiwiSaver scheme promises low fees 01 Aug 2016
    An online KiwiSaver scheme promising low fees across its three funds — conservative, balanced and growth — has launched.

July

  • Heartland Seniors Finance is Trusted 27 Jul 2016
    Heartland Seniors Finance has been accredited under Consumer NZ’s Consumer Trusted business programme.
  • Energy Direct NZ to close this year 25 July 2016
    Energy Direct NZ customers will be switched to Trustpower over the coming weeks as the energy provider is closing.
  • Pokémon Go and what you need to know 20 Jul 2016
    Is it safe to go outside and join the Pokémon-chasing hordes gathering at parks and public landmarks? It CAN be, if you take the right precautions. And if you aren’t sure what this suddenly super-popular Pokémon Go thing is, then you can consider yourself in the minority.
  • Finance companies misled borrowers 15 Jul 2016
    Two finance companies with businessmen Allan Hawkins and Wayne Hawkins as their directors have been found guilty of 106 charges brought by the Commerce Commission under the Fair Trading Act.
  • Paddle Pop's maker fined over packaging 12 Jul 2016
    Paddle Pop ice block maker Unilever has been fined A$10,800 in Australia over the “School Canteen Approved” logos it put on boxes.
  • Skinny Mobile is Consumer Trusted 11 Jul 2016
    Skinny Mobile is the latest business to be accredited under the Consumer Trusted business programme.
  • Farmers changes rules on members 7 Jul 2016
    Changes to the Farmers Club loyalty scheme have left some cardholders promising to shop elsewhere.
  • Households cutting back on heating 6 Jul 2016
    More than a third of Kiwis have cut back on home heating, blaming the price of power, Consumer NZ’s latest energy satisfaction survey has found.
  • Board election 2016 results 4 Jul 2016
    Richard Aston and Sue Kedgley have been re-elected to Consumer NZ’s board for a further three-year term.
  • Motel told to call off debt collectors 4 Jul 2016
    A Whanganui motel that pursued two guests for $102 to fix a broken shower has been told by the Disputes Tribunal the couple don’t owe the money and to call off the debt collectors.
  • Smoke alarms now mandatory in rentals 1 Jul 2016
    If you live in a rental that doesn’t have any smoke alarms, your landlord is now breaking the law.

June

  • Hand sanitisers under scrutiny 30 Jun 2016
    Hand sanitiser manufacturers in the US are having to prove ingredients in their products are safe and actually work.
  • Consumers paying price for commissions 29 Jun 2016
    Some financial advisers selling life insurance could be putting quantity of sales before quality of advice, an investigation by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has found. And it’s consumers who’ll ultimately foot the bill.
  • Fisher Funds wins People’s Choice 28 Jun 2016
    Fisher Funds, the largest New Zealand-owned and -operated KiwiSaver provider, has been named Consumer NZ’s 2016 People’s Choice award winner for KiwiSaver.
  • $8000 lost to telephone scam 24 Jun 2016
    Kathleen Sime lost $8000 to a telephone scammer last month. She’s furious and wants to warn other Consumer members.
  • Nutritional claims land Heinz in court 22 Jun 2016
    A New Zealand-made food product for kids has landed its maker, Heinz, in court in Australia.
  • Kiwi caught in bogus cheque scam 22 Jun 2016
    A New Zealander caught out trying to use cheques from a bogus UK bank has sparked warnings from the Banking Ombudsman.
  • TSB is our People’s Choice winner 22 Jun 2016
    Taranaki stalwart business TSB Bank has won the 2016 Consumer NZ People’s Choice award for banking.
  • Consumer power forces change 17 Jun 2016
    Poor reviews by Consumer members of a dishwasher tablet sent the manufacturer back to the drawing board.
  • Truck shops sentenced under new law 16 Jun 2016
    Two mobile truck shops have been fined a total of $171,500 under strengthened laws for lenders.
  • Beauty clinics wrongly removing skin lesions 15 Jun 2016
    A Consumer NZ mystery shop found seven beauty clinics willing to remove a raised skin spot, when our undercover shopper should have been sent to a GP.
  • Foil insulation to be banned 13 Jun 2016
    A ban on retrofitting foil insulation in residential properties is planned to come into effect from 1 July.
  • Many kids’ cereals still high in sugar 13 Jun 2016
    Cereal manufacturers aren’t getting the message their kids’ products are too high in sugar. A Consumer NZ report has found sugar levels have changed little since it last looked at these products in 2013. Six cereals had even more than they used to, with one packing a 30 percent increase.
  • Kiwi homes underinsured 10 Jun 2016
    Widespread under-insurance of Kiwi homes is a “real issue”, according to research from Treasury. The research found up to 85 percent of homes could be underinsured by an average of 28 percent. If you’re underinsured, you won’t receive a big enough payout to fully rebuild your home if it’s beyond repair.
  • Fisher & Paykel's excuse doesn't wash 09 Jun 2016
    A consumer who took Fisher & Paykel to the Disputes Tribunal has won a $517 refund for her faulty washing machine after the company claimed she wasn’t entitled to her money back.
  • Funeral insurance comes at high price 07 Jun 2016
    Funeral insurance could be the most expensive way to pay for your final send-off, a Consumer NZ report shows.

May

  • Hackers target builders’ accounts 27 May 2016
    An Auckland woman, tricked into paying thousands into the wrong bank account, doesn’t know whether she’ll get her money back and wants to warn others about the elaborate ruse.
  • Illnesses lead to raw milk regulation 25 May 2016
    Foodborne illness outbreaks linked to raw milk have led to new regulations which put more food safety rules around the production, sale and labelling of the product. From November, consumers will only be able to buy milk from farmers registered by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
  • Can an appliance be cheap and reliable? 24 May 2016
    How much do you need to spend to get a reliable dishwasher? $1000, $2000, even more? It might not be as much as you think, according to the latest appliance reliability survey from Consumer NZ.
  • Invitation to members to attend AGM 23 May 2016
    Vote for your Board.
  • Vehicle rego fee cut for most 20 May 2016
    From 1 July, most motorists will see their light vehicle licence (rego) fee cut after ACC Minister Nikki Kaye yesterday announced changes to the annual levies.
  • Bank profits sore point for customers 19 May 2016
    Eighty-two percent of Kiwis believe the profits banks make show they’re charging too much, Consumer NZ’s latest bank satisfaction survey has found.
  • Fixed-term contracts come with sting 18 May 2016
    Mercury does it. Meridian used to do it. And now Genesis Energy is getting in on the act of automatically renewing fixed-term electricity contracts. If customers want out of the deal, they can be stung with a hefty termination fee.
  • Ban on sky-high surcharges 17 May 2016
    Steep fees for paying by credit card are for the chop in Australia following a ban on excessive surcharges. The law change means Australian consumers will have better protection from high credit card fees than consumers on this side of the Tasman.
  • Unsafe Thermomix products reported 12 May 2016
    Complaints from unhappy consumers about faulty Thermomix products have prompted Australian watchdog Choice to submit a mass incident report to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
  • Call for advertising clampdown 12 May 2016
    Restrictions on advertising unhealthy food are needed to protect young consumers.
  • Fake oregano products found 12 May 2016
    Consumer groups in Australia and the UK have found dried oregano products aren’t always the real deal. The products can also contain olive and sumac leaves.
  • Trade Me has new rule for Aussie cars 12 May 2016
    From 1 July, Trade Me is making it mandatory for vehicle traders to reveal if Aussie imports they are selling have been written off. Once written off in Australia, a car can’t be driven in that country but some vehicles are exported to New Zealand and sold to buyers who may not be aware of the car’s history.
  • 10 things to ask before buying a home 11 May 2016
    Real estate agents have to disclose what they’re reasonably expected to know about a property. If you’re looking at a home to buy, ask the agent these questions.
  • Ten cheap and easy heating tips 09 May 2016
    Keeping your home cosy need not break the bank. Here are our top 10 frugal tips for keeping warm this winter.
  • Vote for your Consumer Board 05 May 2016
    Your paid membership means a lot to us. Now we want you to vote for the Board that best represents your views.
  • “New Zealand made” claims misleading 03 May 2016
    A company claiming two dietary supplements were “100% New Zealand made” has been pulled up by the High Court for misleading consumers.

April

  • Five steps to take before buying a car 22 Apr 2016
    Several of my friends and family members have recently bought cars, myself included. We’ve been fortunate to have avoided any major dramas with the dealers or private sellers.
  • Mobile truck traders plead guilty 15 Apr 2016
    Three mobile truck traders have pleaded guilty to charges relating to their lending practices.
  • Chrisco pinged for unfair term 14 Apr 2016
    Christmas hamper company Chrisco has been pulled up by the Australian Federal Court for a term in its 2014 lay-by contract that allowed the company to keep taking payments from a customer’s account after they’d paid for their order.
  • Plumbing products spur complaints 11 Apr 2016
    Allegations poor quality plumbing products are being installed in homes all over the country have prompted the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to call for people to contact it about faulty items.
  • Rule change proposed for Consumer election 07 Apr 2016
    We’re proposing a minor rule change to the way Consumer Board elections are held to make it easier for members to stand.
  • Gym terms get a workout 06 Apr 2016
    A Wellington gym-goer has received a refund after challenging his gym’s cancellation terms.
  • Airlines' lost luggage liability limited 06 Apr 2016
    The case of a couple who failed in a $15,000 claim against Air New Zealand provides a useful reminder of airlines’ obligations when luggage is lost in international travel.

March

  • Phil & Teds given safety warning 29 Mar 2016
    Phil & Teds Most Excellent Buggy Company has been issued with a warning by the Commerce Commission over the teddy bears it gave children recovering from surgery.
  • Hearing aids average $2233 24 Mar 2016
    The retail price of a hearing aid averaged $2233 last year, according to figures released to Consumer by the Ministry of Health.
  • Avoid a declined insurance claim 24 Mar 2016
    Having your home broken into over Easter or crashing your car on the way to your holiday destination would be bad enough. But not having your insurance claim accepted after the long weekend would be worse.
  • A surcharge reminder for Easter 24 Mar 2016
    If you see a restaurant blaming its Easter Sunday surcharge on the day being a public holiday, don’t believe it. The only public holidays over the long weekend are Good Friday and Easter Monday.
  • Kindle software must be updated 21 Mar 2016
    If you own an original Kindle Paperwhite (2012) or an earlier Kindle device, you need to update the software on your Kindle immediately or risk not being able to connect to the internet.
  • Jetstar forced to ditch the ticks 17 Mar 2016
    Jetstar has been forced to back down on opt-out pricing. The airline yesterday signed formal undertakings with the Commerce Commission agreeing to stop pre-ticking boxes for travel insurance, seat selection and check-in baggage.
  • Credit card interest rates too high 16 Mar 2016
    Tired of never seeing your credit card interest rate drop? Help us call on the banks to give consumers a fair go.
  • Warning sounded over sales tactics 16 Mar 2016
    Claims a $4500 vacuum cleaner and air filter could remove cancer-causing particles from the air were part of the six-hour sales pitch Dunedin woman Petrina Virtue said she had to endure when a door-to-door salesman came calling.
  • Consumer groups put focus on fast food 15 Mar 2016
    Consumer organisations around the world are calling on major fast-food companies, McDonald’s, KFC and Subway, to make a global commitment to stop serving meat from animals raised with the routine use of antibiotics important to human medicine.
  • LG & Apple phones win Consumer NZ award 15 Mar 2016
    Apple and LG are winners of the 2016 Consumer NZ Top Brand awards for mobile phones.
  • Woolworths to pay $3m in penalties 15 Mar 2016
    The Australian Federal Court has ordered Woolworths to pay more than A$3 million (NZ$3.2 million) in penalties for misleading consumers about the safety of some of its house brand products.
  • Netflix cracks down on geo-unblockers 10 Mar 2016
    In recent weeks Netflix has begun cracking down on geo-unblockers. So we’re releasing a survey to find out which unblockers have been blocked.
  • Malware attack targets Mac computers 08 Mar 2016
    There is a new malware threat targeting Mac computers. Called KeRanger, it was attached to a legitimate BitTorrent client Transmission.
  • Animation puts fun in credit lesson 08 Mar 2016
    Fiscally irresponsible Herman and his wise aunty are the stars of a new animated series aiming to raise awareness of consumer rights.
  • Identical formula in pain gels 04 Mar 2016
    Two Voltaren pain relief products marketed for the treatment of different conditions contain the same active ingredient but can retail for different prices.
  • Dick Smith customer database for sale 03 Mar 2016
    Dick Smith receivers Ferrier Hodgson are looking to sell the store’s customer databases.

February

January

  • Refund given for dud orchestra recital 22 Jan 2016
    Two concert-goers who complained they couldn’t see the star performer from their seats have won a $220 refund after taking their case to the Disputes Tribunal.
  • Consumers get access to power data 21 Jan 2016
    Want to know how much power your household is using each year? Electricity retailers now have to tell you.
  • Retailers fined over bamboo claims 21 Jan 2016
    Four retailers that misleadingly advertised rayon clothing as bamboo face penalties totalling $2 million following action taken by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  • Consumer NZ's gift card tips 13 Jan 2016
    In light of Dick Smith's collapse and the resulting problems for those with gift cards from the retailer, we've put together these tips for giving and receiving gift cards.
  • Dick Smith collapse bad news for consumers 05 Jan 2016
    Dick Smith, the electronics chain with stores in Australia and New Zealand, has been put into receivership.

2015

December

  • Nurofen packaging to change 23 Dec 2015
    Nurofen’s manufacturer has agreed to stop selling its specific pain range in its current packaging in New Zealand by March.
  • Cheap sunnies can do the job 22 Dec 2015
    A Consumer NZ test of 60 sunglasses, ranging in price from $2 to $270, found cheap sunnies that provided UV protection as good as that provided by expensive pairs.
  • Hoverboard safety warning 18 Dec 2015
    Hoverboards, also known as self-balancing scooters, have been much hyped in the lead-up to Christmas. But they’ve been blamed for numerous fires overseas.
  • The Warehouse fined over emails 17 Dec 2015
    The Warehouse has paid a fine of almost $20,000 for repeatedly emailing marketing materials to people who had asked to be taken off the retailer’s mailing list.
  • Agencies accused of price fixing 17 Dec 2015
    Thirteen real estate agencies are facing charges of alleged price fixing and anti-competitive behaviour.
  • Nurofen claims found to be misleading 14 Dec 2015
    Claims made for Nurofen painkillers have been found to be misleading and the products have been ordered off the shelves in Australia.
  • Sunbed claims investigated 14 Dec 2015
    In May, we lodged a complaint with the Commerce Commission about health claims being made by some sunbed operators.
  • Supermarket survey puts spotlight on prices 07 Dec 2015
    Consumer NZ’s annual supermarket price survey has put Pak’nSave in the lead for budget buys.
  • Pain-relief claims untested 03 Dec 2015
    A trader that claimed “negative ions” in its sanitary pads stopped period pain hadn’t tested the products and doesn’t have evidence to substantiate the claim.
  • More Top Brands revealed 02 Dec 2015
    Bosch, Breville and Miele are the latest winners of 2015 Consumer NZ Top Brand awards.
  • Frozen yoghurt companies in court 02 Dec 2015
    The commission alleges Yoghurt Story New Zealand Limited and Frozen Yoghurt Limited promoted frozen yoghurt products that do not contain yoghurt.
  • Frozen berries linked to hepatitis A 01 Dec 2015
    Four cases of hepatitis A in New Zealand have been linked to imported frozen berries.

November

  • Plain English Award winner announced 20 Nov 2015
    International consultancy Castalia was the big winner at the 2015 Plain English Awards held at Wellington’s City Gallery last night.
  • $12,500 lost in online car scam 19 Nov 2015
    An Auckland couple wants to warn others of the sting they describe as “amazingly professional”.
  • Fraud Awareness Week kicks off 16 Nov 2015
    Fraud Awareness Week, which runs until 21 November, is targeting scammers who masquerade as legitimate companies to dupe consumers and small businesses out of their cash.
  • Mitre 10 and 100% Appliances get award 13 Nov 2015
    Home appliance and technology store 100% Appliances, and hardware and DIY store Mitre 10 have been awarded Consumer NZ’s 2015 People’s Choice Awards.
  • Best and worst retailers revealed 11 Nov 2015
    Consumer NZ has announced the best and worst performers from its 2015 retailer satisfaction survey.
  • Colour-care shampoo doesn’t fight fade 11 Nov 2015
    Supermarket shelves are full of shampoos for dyed hair, claiming they help fight colour fade, but a Consumer NZ test has found you’d be better off using just water to retain your colour.
  • Fake doctor touts deer velvet cure 06 Nov 2015
    A Rotorua retailer claiming deer velvet capsules cured dermatitis and helped prevent colds and flu has admitted breaching the Fair Trading Act.
  • Vinegar and baking soda beats 13 cleaners 06 Nov 2015
    Consumer NZ put 16 cleaners to the test and found only one to recommend. Surprisingly it found a home-made mixture of baking soda and white vinegar cleaned better than most manufactured cleaners.
  • Amber necklace retailer gets warning 06 Nov 2015
    A retailer that sells amber necklaces for teething babies has been warned by the Commerce Commission for making unsubstantiated health claims for it products.

October

  • Bank complaints info needs improving 30 Oct 2015
    The Banking Ombudsman Scheme used its recently released annual report to tell banks they need to make it easier for people to complain online.
  • Nespresso’s service fee earns roasting 30 Oct 2015
    The company charges a $125 fee to fix faults after their standard warranty has expired. Consumer adviser Maggie Edwards believes the information given by Nespresso’s reps risks misleading customers about their CGA rights.
  • Ladder claims cost company $150k 27 Oct 2015
    Brand Developers Ltd, a company known for its TV infomercials, has been fined $153,000 in Auckland District Court over selling unsafe Transforma Ladders.
  • Flushable wipe claims don’t wash 21 Oct 2015
    Consumer NZ wants manufacturers of flushable wipes to drop claims these products are “flushable”.
  • The price is not always right 21 Oct 2015
    It’s often said “you get what you pay for”, and it would be great if price was a reliable indicator of performance.
  • Insurance costs continue to rise 20 Oct 2015
    A Consumer NZ survey of house and contents insurance this year found homeowners could save up to $1000 a year by switching companies.
  • Plain English finalists announced 20 Oct 2015
    2015 is the tenth year of the WriteMark Plain English Awards. Judges had 140 entries to read through.
  • Businesses become Consumer Trusted 15 Oct 2015
    We’re delighted to announce electricity provider Flick Electric Co. and hearing health care provider Triton Hearing have received Consumer Trusted accreditation.
  • Court finds minister wrong on TPP request 13 Oct 2015
    The High Court has found Trade Minister Tim Groser acted unlawfully when he refused to release documents relating to the TPP.
  • Snack bars lose Heart Foundation’s Tick 08 Oct 2015
    Heart Foundation Tick programme manager Deb Sue says the products tend to be high in sugar and saturated fat, and don’t offer much “quality nutrition”.

September

  • Event Cinemas given warning 29 Sep 2015
    Consumers entering Event Cinemas’ “Win $1 million” prize promotion were not entering a draw to win a million dollars.
  • Cosmetic ingredient “not safe” 29 Sep 2015
    A preservative used in cosmetics and wet wipes can no longer be considered safe at permitted levels, according to the European Commission’s consumer safety committee.
  • EQC cover to be rebuilt 24 Sep 2015
    Three years after it was announced, the government review of the Earthquake Commission Act has seen the light of day.
  • Tribunal orders refund for $5000 bed 24 Sep 2015
    The Disputes Tribunal awarded a $5000 refund to a Big Save Furniture customer after it found the store sold a bed that wasn’t “fit for purpose”.
  • MPI issues coconut milk warning 24 Sep 2015
    People with dairy allergies and intolerances are being warned to avoid four brands of imported coconut milk.
  • Telcos cause most complaints 24 Sep 2015
    Telcos and home appliance retailers continue to cause the most complaints to the Commerce Commission.
  • TPPA case to be heard on Monday 23 Sep 2015
    A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is set to be heard in Wellington at 10am on Monday.
  • New notes coming on 12 October 22 Sep 2015
    New-look $5 and $10 banknotes will be released on 12 October, with $20, $50 and $100 notes to follow in April next year.
  • Asbestos found in crayons 17 Sep 2015
    Asbestos has been found in three brands of crayons sold in New Zealand but retailers are being left to decide whether they’ll keep selling them.
  • Spike in number of scam calls 14 Sep 2015
    Scammers pretending to be calling from Microsoft are targeting New Zealanders at the moment, with one victim losing $5000.
  • Apple announces new tech 11 Sep 2015
    This year’s Apple release was more closely watched than previous years, not so much for the new iPhones that were revealed but for the Apple TV and iPad Pro announcements.
  • Survey finds retirees are living frugally 04 Sep 2015
    A quarter of retirees don’t have enough money to do the things they would like, according to a survey by the Financial Markets Authority and the Commission for Financial Capability.
  • Green cleaners no better than water 04 Sep 2015
    Manufacturers of laundry balls market them as an “environmentally friendly” cleaning option. But a Consumer NZ test has found you’d be better off saving your money and just using water to do your laundry.
  • Trader earns another complaint 01 Sep 2015
    A heat pump servicing company that cold-calls consumers looking for business has attracted another complaint from an unhappy customer.
  • Mobile trader appears in court 01 Sep 2015
    A mobile trader has been arrested and appeared in the Auckland District Court after the Commerce Commission filed charges.

August

July

June

  • Door-to-door seller cautioned 29 Jun 2015
    Niagara Healthcare, a company that sells massage products door-to-door, has been investigated by the Commerce Commission following a complaint we made in February.
  • Groupon given legal reminder 29 Jun 2015
    Daily deal site Groupon told a customer she wasn’t entitled to a refund for a spa voucher after she discovered the spa was operating without a health licence.
  • Debt dispute costs Orcon $25,000 29 Jun 2015
    If you’re being chased for a debt you don’t owe, dispute it immediately and in writing. Recently, Brett Taylor did just that.
  • Board election results 2015 26 Jun 2015
    Consumer NZ members have chosen Dunedin pharmacist Paul Larson and Far North District councillor Ann Court.
  • Settlement raises plenty of questions 24 Jun 2015
    From 1 September, Global Mode will no longer be offered to consumers.
  • New guide defines building defects 24 Jun 2015
    Not sure whether that crack in the stucco or that uneven patch in the floor are defects in your new home that you can insist get fixed? There’s a new guide to help with that.
  • 93 percent ticked off with Jetstar 22 Jun 2015
    Our survey found 93 percent of respondents want Jetstar to stop using pre-ticked boxes for travel insurance, seat selection and check-in baggage.
  • Nominate a poor communicator 08 Jun 2015
    Entries are now being sought for the 2015 Plain English Awards.
  • Feedback on law change welcomed 05 Jun 2015
    The MBIE is seeking feedback on the regulation of financial advisers.
  • Enforcement key to new lending rules 05 Jun 2015
    New responsible lending rules that come into effect this week will need to be actively enforced to rein-in lenders who target vulnerable consumers.
  • Survey reveals reliable appliances 03 Jun 2015
    This year our survey gathered responses from more than 11,000 Consumer NZ members reporting on more than 39,000 appliances across 11 different product types.

May

  • Less salt going into packaged food 29 May 2015
    Manufacturers of packaged food sold in New Zealand are reducing the amount of salt in their products, according to newly published research.
  • Travel company’s membership terminated 29 May 2015
    Educational Travel International, a company advertising as an educational tours specialist, has had its membership of the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) terminated.
  • Rental agencies’ fees challenged 28 May 2015
    Property management companies Oxygen and Quinovic are charging tenants fees of $495 to $575 to end fixed-term tenancies.
  • Truck shop being investigated 21 May 2015
    The Commerce Commission is investigating a truck shop over what it says are serious breaches of the law.
  • Consumer NZ says ditch the ticks 20 May 2015
    We're calling on Jetstar to ditch the use of pre-ticked boxes that risk misleading people into paying for extras.
  • Phone scam targets immigrants 18 May 2015
    Indian nationals living in New Zealand are being targeted by phone scammers who threaten deportation if a payment isn’t made.
  • WooHoo becomes Consumer Trusted 13 May 2015
    Consumer NZ is pleased to announce WooHoo – NZ Tax Refunds has passed its strict accreditation programme to become Consumer Trusted.
  • How to cancel a direct debit 13 May 2015
    What are your rights if you want to cancel a direct debit? Who do you tell first?
  • Sunbed rules still being broken 07 May 2015
    A Consumer NZ mystery shop of 60 sunbed operators found more than 40 percent failed to implement key safety checks.
  • Healthy choices harder to find 06 May 2015
    A study of 23,600 packaged foods found fewer than half met criteria required to carry health claims.
  • Ultra-clean woodburners emerge 06 May 2015
    Two models have met the Canterbury Method (CM1) testing standard.
  • Fixed-term deals not fair 04 May 2015
    If you’ve signed up for a fixed-term contract with your energy company and think it will come to an end when the term’s up, you may get an unwelcome surprise.
  • Consumer negotiates UFB help 01 May 2015
    Consumer NZ has negotiated a deal with Slingshot to provide cheaper services to the residents of Marshall Court Apartments in Miramar, Wellington.
  • Florist’s fee doubles price 01 May 2015
    Online florist Ready Flowers’ prices can include a large commission.

April

March

  • Local banks rated the best for service 30 Mar 2015
    Consumer NZ’s latest bank survey found local banks achieved the highest customer satisfaction ratings.
  • Chocolate Easter bunnies 27 Mar 2015
    They are beautifully wrapped in foil but how good is the chocolate underneath? We broke up 9 Easter bunnies sold in supermarkets and The Warehouse and had a panel of 6 Consumer staff members rate them.
  • Building advice has new home 20 Mar 2015
    Everything you want to know about building a home, renovating or home maintenance can now be found on consumer.org.nz.
  • Consumer says enough of the 'in-salts' 16 Mar 2015
    When it comes to helping consumers make healthy food choices, highlighting the salt content of foods Kiwi kids love is a good place to start.
  • Campaign targets unfair contract terms 16 Mar 2015
    Consumer NZ has launched a campaign to target the use of unfair terms in consumer contracts.
  • More help on way for first-home buyers 12 Mar 2015
    From 1 April the KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant becomes available and regional house-price caps for the HomeStart and Welcome Home Loan scheme increase.
  • Commerce Commission uses its new powers 11 Mar 2015
    Three car dealers have been fined by the Commerce Commission after tip-offs from the public.
  • Formula threat - what you need to know 10 Mar 2015
    Parents are being advised to check their baby’s formula packaging hasn’t been tampered with after a blackmail threat was revealed this afternoon.
  • Layby fee refund 09 Mar 2015
    The Warehouse is refunding an administration fee it charged to customers who started a layby with the company between 17 June 2014 and 19 January 2015.
  • Air NZ warning a win for consumers 06 Mar 2015
    The move to stop Air New Zealand and other businesses using ‘opt out’ pricing is to be congratulated, Consumer NZ says.
  • Nurofen's maker taken to court 05 Mar 2015
    The Australian consumer watchdog is taking the makers of Nurofen to court over products marketed to treat particular types of pain.
  • Samsung reveals S6 and S6 Edge 04 Mar 2015
    Samsung has released two new phones: the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge.
  • Netflix announces launch date 03 Mar 2015
    Netflix has announced it will be launching on March 24, but the cost of watching it is still to be revealed.

February

January

  • Groupon customers should check statement 30 Jan 2015
    Purchased a deal voucher from discount voucher site Groupon? You might want to check your credit card statement to see if you were pinged with an overseas transaction fee by your credit card provider.
  • Building Act changes of limited use 30 Jan 2015
    New consumer protection measures for building work came into force this month. They’re intended to ensure your building project goes to plan. But they may only be of limited use if the project goes belly up.
  • Refund for $13,000 massage chair 29 Jan 2015
    An elderly woman sold a $13,000 Niagara Therapy massage chair has been refunded after her bank stepped in to help her cancel the sale.
  • Layby fees breach sales rules 29 Jan 2015
    Bought an item on layby and been charged a “service” fee? You’re not alone.
  • Students send message to door knockers 27 Jan 2015
    A group of students attending a youth development course in Porirua have a message for door-to-door traders trying to flog overpriced goods: whatever you’re selling, it’s cheaper at the store.
  • Fish oil supplements come up short 22 Jan 2015
    Nearly all of the fish oil supplements sold in New Zealand don’t live up to their label claims, according to a University of Auckland study.
  • Foss announces review of taxi rules 21 Jan 2015
    Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss has announced a review of the rules under which small passenger services operate.
  • Cyber criminals target NZ charities 20 Jan 2015
    Two NZ charities have had their online donation systems used by cyber criminals to validate credit card details.
  • Followers have their say on hot cross buns 13 Jan 2015
    Hot cross buns for sale in January – too soon or not soon enough?

2014

December

  • Consumer taking a Christmas break 24 Dec 2014
    Consumer NZ will be closing down for a break over Christmas.
  • Complaints about pies force action 23 Dec 2014
    The manufacturer of a popular New Zealand pie brand has axed one of its meat suppliers after complaints about meat quality.
  • Fisher & Paykel fined over warranty offer 22 Dec 2014
    Appliance company Fisher & Paykel has been pinged in Australia for telling owners of its products they needed to buy an extended warranty to cover repair costs.
  • Retailer's donation not so sweet 22 Dec 2014
    A company encouraging customers to give $2 so it can buy a sweet treat for a local food bank has been criticised for donating stock past its best before date.
  • Lightbox changes the game 19 Dec 2014
    Lightbox gave everyone an early Christmas present this week with three massive announcements.
  • Shop smart this silly season 17 Dec 2014
    Consumer NZ has 12 tips to help you through the pre-Christmas rush and the Boxing Day sales.
  • Two finance companies facing charges 17 Dec 2014
    The Commerce Commission has filed criminal proceedings in Auckland District Court against finance companies Budget Loans Limited and Evolution Finance Limited.
  • Telcos join to block 32,000 phones 17 Dec 2014
    More than 32,000 lost and stolen phones have been blocked over the last year in an effort to make stealing devices less profitable.
  • Rules for flying drones set to change 12 Dec 2014
    Remotely piloted aircraft (or drones) – they might soon be a common sight overhead, at least if the hype is correct.
  • Sunscreen testing results confuse 8 Dec 2014
    Consumer NZ is concerned at the variability of results produced at sunscreen testing labs and is calling for annual testing of sunscreen products and auditing of labs.
  • Settlement will see ANZ pay $19m 05 Dec 2014
    The Commerce Commission has reached a settlement with ANZ that will see the bank pay out $18.5 million to rural customers who complained about its interest rate swaps.
  • Commerce Commission warns Pulse Energy 02 Dec 2014
    Pulse Energy has been warned by the Commerce Commission for switching customers without their consent, a practice known as slamming.
  • Commission releases price-quality paths 02 Dec 2014
    Whether your power bill is likely to go up or down in 2015 depends on where you live.

November

October

  • Decision good news for households 31 Oct 2014
    The Commerce Commission’s decision to cut electricity lines and gas pipeline companies’ weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is good news for households, but Consumer NZ had been hoping for more.
  • Travel vouchers could leave you stranded 30 Oct 2014
    Sales reps selling travel vouchers have been cold-calling consumers promising big discounts on flights and accommodation. The discounts sound too good to be true – and we think they are.
  • Ministry warns of scam using its name 29 Oct 2014
    The Ministry for Primary Industries is warning of a scam email that looks like it comes from a legitimate address.
  • Sky announces its streaming service 24 Oct 2014
    It’s been rumoured and talked about for awhile and now Sky has announced its online streaming service called Neon.
  • Virtual keyboards 24 Oct 2014
    “Virtual” keyboards have existed ever since we started using smart phones and tablets. In general they are pretty terrible but there are some good ones.
  • Tasting panel pick favourite chocolate milk 23 Oct 2014
    With all the hype around the Lewis Road Creamery chocolate milk, we decided there was only one thing to do – see if it can live up to it with a blind taste test.
  • Consumer and Hoed team up 23 Oct 2014
    It’s exciting times for our Consumer Trusted programme. We’ve just partnered with Hoed Mystery Shopping, a NZ-based customer experience management company.
  • Glassons under fire again, this time over ad 22 Oct 2014
    Glassons is under fire again today, but this time over their new ad that features a model riding a bull.
  • Consumer NZ team pits Uber against taxis 20 Oct 2014
    Uber is the new kid in taxi-town but how well does it compare to the establishment it wants to shake up?
  • Medicine prices set to increase under TPP 17 Oct 2014
    New leaked documents from the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) show New Zealanders could soon be paying a lot more for medical care.
  • Spark sets up scam helpline 17 Oct 2014
    Spark has set up a scam helpline in response to fraudsters becoming increasingly aggressive this week.
  • New gadgets from Apple, Google and Motorola 17 Oct 2014
    A bunch of new technology was revealed overnight, with Apple releasing four new products and Motorola and Google teaming up to show off the new Nexus 6.
  • Mannequins to go from Glassons stores 17 Oct 2014
    The skinny mannequins that caused huge debate around the country this week will be removed from Glassons shop windows.
  • Parents reassured child car seat is safe 15 Oct 2014
    People who bought a child car seat through GrabOne have been reassured the product is safe.
  • Kiwis quizzed on investment knowledge 15 Oct 2014
    Which of the following investment types is government guaranteed? Term deposits, KiwiSaver, shares, bonds or residential property?
  • Safety improvements get Accord 5 stars 15 Oct 2014
    The new Honda Accord will carry a 5-star Australian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) safety rating, an improvement on its 4-star rating last year.
  • Kiwis' data usage up 53 percent on last year 15 Oct 2014
    The amount of internet data used in New Zealand so far this year is enough to stream 12 million movies.
  • Usernames and passwords stolen 14 Oct 2014
    If you are a user of the cloud storage system Dropbox, you need to log in and change your password.
  • Complaint about No-Jet-Lag upheld 10 Oct 2014
    The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint regarding advertising of homeopathic product No-Jet-Lag.
  • Consumer NZ survey reveals most trusty cars 10 Oct 2014
    Skoda owners are a satisfied bunch, with 95 percent of those who responded to a Consumer NZ car reliability survey saying they would buy the same make again.
  • Make the most of Money Week 10 Oct 2014
    Events to get you on the path to financial stability will be held all over the country from 13-19 October as part of Money Week.
  • GrabOne fined $40,000 over bubble machine 08 Oct 2014
    Deal website GrabOne has been fined $40,000 for continuing to sell a bubble machine after being told it gave a woman an electric shock.
  • Don't fall for heat pump cold calls 01 Oct 2014
    Been cold called by a company claiming your heat pump needs servicing? Don’t believe it.
  • Heart Foundation adds to tick programme 01 Oct 2014
    The Heart Foundation has launched “Two Ticks”. This is an addition to its single Tick, which we’ve seen on packaged foods for more than 20 years.

September

  • Kiwis warned about General Equity 30 Sept 2014
    New Zealanders are being warned by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) to exercise “extreme caution” before obtaining any financial services or acquiring financial products from building society General Equity.
  • Vodafone to charge for paper bills 30 Sept 2014
    Spark (operating then as Telecom) did it earlier this year, and now it's Vodafone’s turn. From 7 October, Vodafone will start charging $1.50 per paper bill.
  • The way we were: tumble clothes dryers 30 Sept 2014
    Back in 1962 we tested four dryers. Two were from Fisher & Paykel and there was also a Norge and a Dishmaster.
  • Get your finances fighting fit 30 Sept 2014
    Getting in shape to run a marathon takes hard work – determination, commitment and a whole lot of effort. But help from a coach, teammates or training partners can push you that bit further towards achieving your goals.
  • It's time phone chargers were universal 26 Sept 2014
    Earlier this year the EU parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of a universal charger for mobile phones.
  • A look at the changes we've made 24 Sep 2014
    It’s been 10 weeks since Consumer launched its new website and since then we’ve been constantly looking at ways we can improve the experience for our members.
  • Sky lanterns - a risk worth taking? 22 Sep 2014
    Before releasing sky lanterns this summer it’s worth considering whether their beauty is worth the financial risk you're exposing yourself to.
  • Parties have their say on consumer issues 12 Sep 2014
    Ahead of this year’s election, we’ve asked political parties for their policies on five key consumer rights issues.
  • Online shopping event returns on Monday 12 Sep 2014
    Click Monday, the Kiwi online shopping event based on Cyber Monday in the US, is on again next week.
  • Second-hand car fleet getting safer 10 Sep 2014
    Second-hand cars for sale are getting safer according to the latest ratings guide.
  • Apple enters wearable market 10 Sep 2014
    Today was Apple’s annual iPhone release and they did pretty much what everyone expected, releasing two new phones and a watch.
  • Court rules on carpet warranty case 10 Sep 2014
    A legal battle between New Zealand’s two largest carpet manufacturers has resulted in a win for buyers, says the Commerce Commission.
  • Consumer NZ board election results 2014 08 Sep 2014
    Results of the Consumer NZ board election 2014.
  • Steam in trouble over refunds policy 08 Sep 2014
    Online game store Steam is in trouble over in Australia for its refund policies.
  • Company and director get record fine 05 Sep 2014
    An Auckland company and its director have been fined a total of $250,000 for selling 69 vehicles in a year without being registered as a motor vehicle trader.
  • Why you should update your system 04 Sep 2014
    You may have noticed that we have a new website. But because of our new changes you need to do us a favour and update some of your systems.
  • Rest home and nurse criticised in report 03 Sep 2014
    An investigation into a now-closed rest home in New Plymouth has seen the company and a registered nurse criticised for their care of an elderly resident.
  • Spark warns of scam using its name 03 Sep 2014
    Spark is warning its customers to not be fooled by fraudsters pretending to work for the telecommunications company.
  • Blog post criticises Little Shop promotion 01 Sep 2014
    New World’s popular Little Shop promotion is the subject of a scathing post on economist Gareth Morgan’s blog.

August

  • Insulation claims spark warning 29 Aug 2014
    An investigation into claims made for Airfoam wall insulation have resulted in the Commerce Commission issuing a warning.
  • Bunnings says beware of online scam 28 Aug 2104
    An online scam is using the name of Bunnings Warehouse and trying to lure people in with the offer of vouchers.
  • Apple recalling some iPhone 5 batteries 26 Aug 2014
    Apple has revealed some of its iPhone 5 devices have defective batteries, which may mean they suddenly have a shorter life.
  • Privacy Commissioner wants to name names 26 Aug 2014
    The Privacy Commissioner John Edwards believes it’s time he regularly names companies that breach the Privacy Act.
  • Visa phasing out signatures 25 Aug 2014
    It’s time to put the pen away. Visa New Zealand is phasing out signatures.
  • Shirley's diet-pill delivery a mystery 25 Aug 2014
    Consumer member Shirley, 78, had more than $200 charged to her credit card for diet pills that promised to make her bikini-fit.
  • The pros and cons of Lightbox 21 Aug 2014
    Lightbox has announced its launch date: Thursday 28 August. I was given access to the beta and here are my first impressions.
  • Online shoppers to get eftpos option 20 Aug 2014
    Online shoppers will be able to pay using eftpos when a new service is offered next year.
  • Foodstuffs adopting star rating system 19 Aug 2014
    Foodstuffs is adopting the health star rating system for its Pams and Budget brand foods.
  • More IRD scams revealed 18 Aug 2014
    Inland Revenue has released a warning about scammers targeting customers by claiming they owe money.
  • Free GPS apps tested on the road 15 Aug 2014
    Head of testing Paul Smith put three free GPS apps to the test earlier this week and there was one that came out a clear favourite.
  • Flight Centre refunds seat-selection fee 15 Aug 2014
    When Consumer member Susan booked a holiday to London through Flight Centre, the $200 extra she paid for her seat of choice didn’t get her anything.
  • Telemarketing company fined nearly $170,000 15 Aug 2014
    Telemarketing company Power Marketing Limited has been fined $168,750 over the calls it made on behalf of Slingshot.
  • 10-year passports on the table 14 Aug 2014
    The possibility of returning to 10-year passports will be looked at as part of a review announced by Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne.
  • Low-interest loan scheme launched 13 Aug 2014
    Low-income families in Manukau City and Waitakere will be able to loan money under a Community Finance pilot scheme.
  • Beware of Facebook colour change app 12 Aug 2014
    A Facebook app that makes the tempting offer to change the colour of a user’s Facebook profile page is tricking people into giving hackers access to their account.
  • Kids have no need for sports drinks 11 Aug 2014
    Sports drinks are a common sight on the sidelines of children’s sport but a researcher says they’re full of empty calories and not needed by kids for extra energy or rehydration.
  • Companies fined for selling unsafe adaptors 11 Aug 2014
    Two companies behind a chain of convenience stores have been fined a total of $80,000 for selling electrically unsafe travel plug adaptors despite repeated warnings.
  • Computers attacked by new version of virus 08 Aug 2014
    A new wave of ransomware is attempting to extort money from Kiwis in exchange for returning access to their computer files.
  • Alpaca wool appeal rejected by High Court 08 Aug 2014
    Four companies and four directors fined for making false claims about alpaca and merino wool products have had their appeal rejected by the High Court.
  • Is this responsible lending? 08 Aug 2014
    A company called Teleloans is putting fake $100 notes in consumers’ letterboxes in an effort to drum up business.
  • Rest home audit reports to continue 06 Aug 2014
    Consumer NZ is welcoming the Government’s decision to continue publishing full rest home audit reports.
  • Trusty mixer hasn't missed a beat 06 Aug 2014
    After decades of use, Kenwood Chef mixers are still whipping up a storm in kitchens around New Zealand.
  • Egg farm's owner gets home detention 05 Aug 2014
    The owner of a Northland egg farm has been sentenced to 12 months’ home detention and 200 hours’ community service for labelling and selling cage eggs as free range or barn-laid.
  • Hit the money-saving switch 05 Aug 2014
    Electricity prices have risen 4.5 percent in the past year, Statistics NZ figures show.
  • L'Oreal's age-defying claims mislead 05 Aug 2014
    Cosmetic company L’Oreal has agreed to stop making claims its Lancome Genifique and L’Oreal Paris Youth Code products make skin appear younger by boosting “the activity of genes”.
  • Sky TV refusing to screen Slingshot ad 04 Aug 2014
    Sky TV is refusing to run Slingshot’s latest TV ads, which mention the Global Mode service that lets users access Netflix.
  • Scam threatens victims with deportation 04 Aug 2014
    A new phone scam is targeting Indian nationals living in New Zealand and threatening deportation if victims don’t put money into a Western Union account in India.
  • The lowdown on Lightbox's line-up 01 Aug 2014
    Telecom (soon to be Spark) has released more information about its upcoming on-demand video streaming service, Lightbox.
  • Ban on unfair contract terms a step closer 01 Aug 2014
    The Commerce Commission has released draft guidelines on how it will enforce a ban on unfair contract terms due to come into effect next year.

July

June

  • Health stars get go ahead 30 Jun 2014
    A new health star rating system for food has got the backing of the government.
  • Lighting the way 27 Jun 2014
    Lightbox is the new on-demand TV service from Telecom.
  • Used iPhone sold as new 27 Jun 2014
    A “new” iPhone turns out to be second-hand.
  • Rental WOF 13 Jun 2014
    Rental housing WOF identifies gaps in insulation and fixed heating.
  • Kitchen Wizz that's a wiz 13 Jun 2014
    There are not many appliances still doing the job after 40 years – but Consumer member Creina Penfold has one.
  • Out-of-date restraints 12 Jun 2014
    The life of a seat is typically 6 to 10 years. That's because wear and tear can affect the performance of various components.

May

  • Daily deal site forgets consumer law 15 May 2014
    Daily deal site 1-day.co.nz got it wrong when it told a customer they couldn’t send back a faulty tablet computer because it was out of warranty.
  • KiwiSaver top-up 15 May 2014
    Contributing to KiwiSaver? Did you know that for every dollar you put in, the government will match it with 50 cents – up to $521.43 each year?
  • Energy efficient bulbs 14 May 2014
    Replace your old-school incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient ones.
  • Rest home audits 13 May 2014
    The Ministry of Health is asking for feedback on rest-home audit reports as a decision looms on whether the reports will continue to be made public.
  • HOP card penalty fares 12 May 2014
    Auckland Transport AT HOP card users have paid $910,000 in “penalty fares” since the public transport card was introduced 18 months ago.
  • Change in regulator 12 May 2014
    From 1 April 2014, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has become the main regulator of unfair practices by providers of financial products and services.
  • Up your fruit and veg 12 May 2014
    7 or more servings of fruit and veg a day reduces your risk of dying by 42 percent … compared with eating less than 1 serving.
  • Broadband made clear? 08 May 2014
    Complaints about confusing broadband plans have led to telcos introducing “offer summaries” to help consumers compare broadband plans.

April

  • Internet Explorer exploited 29 Apr 2014
    If you use Internet Explorer as your browser then you’re at risk from the latest system vulnerability.
  • Investigation finds failure of care 07 Apr 2014
    Yet another investigation has resulted in a highly critical report of care provided to an elderly rest home resident.
  • Tough tenancy 07 Apr 2014
    The Tenancy Tribunal has ordered Quinovic Property Management not to market a Wellington house for sale during a fixed-term tenancy.
  • Insurance and convictions 04 Apr 2014
    Harbouring a convicted criminal? Check your insurance coverage allows it.

March

  • Electricity price rises 18 Mar 2014
    Letters explaining electricity price hikes are proving confusing to customers.
  • Applying for travel documents online news 11 Mar 2014
    Applying for travel documents online? Don’t click on the first site that pops up.
  • Fee waived in parking dispute news 11 Mar 2014
    Consumer member David Wardle had his $65 parking fee waived and Disputes Tribunal costs refunded after he challenged the fee as unfair.
  • Fix our phone rights 10 Mar 2014
    Along with consumer organisations around the world, we’re calling for better protection for consumers in the mobile market.

February

  • Faulty paint job compensation 17 Feb 2014
    After two years and two Disputes Tribunal hearings, a Northland couple has won $1300 compensation from Mitsubishi Motors for the faulty paintwork on their vehicle.
  • Vodafone complaints force payout 05 Feb 2014
    Vodafone has paid nearly $270,000 to customers following a Commerce Commission investigation into the company’s "Broadband Lite" promotion.
  • Dynamic Currency Conversion 05 Feb 2014
    Paying in NZD on overseas online sites or while overseas on holiday might seem convenient but are you really getting a good deal?

2013

December

  • Compare your KiwiSaver fund 16 Dec 2013
    Thanks to new disclosure rules you can now compare apples with apples when it comes to KiwiSaver funds.
  • Laundry blues 12 Dec 2013
    An Auckland couple has received a refund for a new washer-dryer after they complained it left their clothes smelling like burnt plastic.
  • Rest home audits to be published 11 Dec 2013
    Rest-home audit reports will be available to the public.
  • Commerce Commission vs Baycorp 10 Dec 2013
    A settlement between the Commerce Commission and Baycorp warns creditors to pay closer attention to their obligations under the Credit (Repossession) Act.
  • Understanding overdrafts 09 Dec 2013
    Christmas and holiday expenses make it all too easy to slip into overdraft.
  • Adams wrong on retail pricing 06 Dec 2013
    The Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing is disappointed the Communications & IT Minister is continuing to make inaccurate statements about retail pricing of copper broadband and voice services.
  • Sausage labelling saga 06 Dec 2013
    One packet of sausages with two labels. Same list of ingredients, different nutritional information.
  • Read the fine print to avoid travel traps 05 Dec 2013
    You don’t want to read about travel horror stories - but checking the fine print first can make for a more relaxing holiday.
  • Disposable nappies go green 03 Dec 2013
    A nappy composting service can help ease the guilt of disposable nappies.

November

October

  • Red Cross warns of fake letters 21 Oct 2013
    New Zealand Red Cross is warning the public to be on the lookout for a scam letter claiming to be from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
  • Rest homes fail residents 10 Oct 2013
    Investigations reveal more inadequate care cases.
  • Faulty phone saga 10 Oct 2013
    Electronics chain Dick Smith has apologised after a store manager refused to accept a customer’s faulty phone should be repaired under the Consumer Guarantees Act.
  • Telecom's new network 07 Oct 2013
    Telecom has launched its new 4G network with an offer to bring over current Telecom 3G users for free.
  • Vodafone LTE network 01 Oct 2013
    The new Vodafone LTE network is shockingly fast.
  • How big is a standard drink? 01 Oct 2013
    You’ve seen it written on the labels of beer and wine bottles: the number of standard drinks. But what exactly is a standard drink?

September

  • Blue Earth sunscreen complaint upheld 30 Sep 2013
    We’ve received a decision from the Commerce Commission on whether the SPF 30 and water-resistance claims made for Blue Earth Sun Protection sunscreen were misleading.
  • Rate your home's performance 30 Sep 2013
    The Homestar rating system aims to improve the standard of Kiwi homes by providing a comparison against a benchmark from 1-10 stars.
  • Grey-Power Electricity 19 Sep 2013
    Grey-Power Electricity is a new venture by Grey Power in conjunction with Pulse Energy.
  • Axe the copper tax 12 Sep 2013
    Copy of a speech made by Sue Chetwin at the press conference of the Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing.
  • Scanning receipts 09 Sep 2013
    If a purchase needs to be returned, would the retailer accept a scanned printout or other electronic version of the receipt as proof of purchase?
  • Door-to-door sales investigated 09 Sep 2013
    Door-to-door goods company investigated by the Commerce Commission.
  • Auckland gym cautioned 05 Sep 2013
    Auckland gym Next Generation has been told by the Commerce Commission its membership contract could breach consumer credit law.
  • Carpet claims mislead 05 Sep 2013
    Carpet manufacturer Godfrey Hirst is going back to court over warranty claims made by rival Cavalier Bremworth.

August

  • Really quite fine print 12 Aug 2013
    An ad for tickets to a Hurricanes v Highlanders game in Wellington in July 2013 has brought new meaning to the words "fine print".
  • Healthy food app 07 Aug 2013
    This month a smartphone app called FoodSwitch is being launched by The University of Auckland's National Institute for Health Innovation.
  • Disputes Tribunal fees rise 01 Aug 2013
    The cost of taking a claim to the Disputes Tribunal has gone up.
  • Auckland regulates sunbeds 01 Aug 2013
    The Auckland Council has recognised the potential dangers of sunbed use.
  • Security systems without landlines 01 Aug 2013
    Before you ditch your landline, it’s a good idea to check whether your security system or medical alarm can work without it.

July

  • Vodafone ordered to fix faulty iPhone 11 Jul 2013
    Dispute resolution scheme tells Vodafone to fix faulty phone.
  • "Deadlocked" complaints up 03 Jul 2013
    Complaints to the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner have dropped but the proportion of complaints reaching "deadlock" is up.
  • Wiring maintenance charges 02 Jul 2013
    Take a close look at your monthly bill for your landline or broadband connection and you may see a charge called "Wiring Maintenance Charge" or "Wiring & Maintenance Insurance".
  • Travel insurance and Cuba 02 Jul 2013
    One of our members discovered that if you're holidaying in Cuba then your travel insurance might not cover you.

May

  • Misleading ticket prices 30 May 2013
    Tried to book a ticket for the advertised price and been stung with extra "service fees"? Join the queue.
  • Telco cold calls 13 May 2013
    A new telco is on the prowl for customers.
  • Samsung washing machine recall: your consumer rights 10 May 2013
    Samsung has recalled a number of top-loading washing machines. Here's our guide to your rights.
  • Energy Stars for gas heaters 08 May 2013
    Gas heaters and fireplaces have been added to the Energy Star galaxy of appliances.
  • Transforma ladders 06 May 2013
    In April the Commerce Commission issued a safety warning about two models of Transforma multi-purpose ladder.
  • Safer kids in cars 02 May 2013
    We support a proposed change to compulsory child-restraint use … but we think it should go further.
  • Good news from EQC 02 May 2013
    The Earthquake Commission is now allowing Christchurch homeowners to install new insulation in areas exposed by earthquake damage that weren’t previously insulated.

April

  • Funeral insurance 08 Apr 2013
    It pays to check the policy before signing up to funeral insurance.

March

  • Curtain cleaning dispute 07 Mar 2013
    A Wellington trader who advertises blind and curtain cleaning services took the best part of a year to compensate a couple for ruining their curtains.
  • Women leaders inspire consumer movement 06 Mar 2013
    Women leaders shape and inspire the consumer rights movement.
  • TV power consumption 05 Mar 2013
    As prices come down, the size of televisions is going up – along with their power consumption.
  • Insurance reviews 04 Mar 2013
    If you don't agree with your insurer's decision, ask for it to be reviewed.
  • Baby bottle accuracy 01 Mar 2013
    Some parents could be feeding their baby infant-formula that’s too concentrated … or too weak.

February

  • Michael Hill Jeweller care plans 28 Feb 2013
    We've had two further complaints from members about Michael Hill Jeweller Professional Care Plans.
  • Refund awarded for flawed carpet 07 Feb 2013
    Two Consumer members have won a $6700 refund in the Disputes Tribunal after their new carpet developed large areas of "shading".
  • New CFL standards 05 Feb 2013
    Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) now must meet minimum performance standards.
  • People's power worth less 05 Feb 2013
    Meridian Energy's customers who generate their own power are to be paid less for any surplus they sell back to the company.
  • Traffic-light food label changes 04 Feb 2013
    Traffic-light food labels that highlight the fat, sugar and salt content of food now have the backing of the UK government.
  • Online passport renewals 01 Feb 2013
    Since November last year you've been able to renew your passport online.

January

2012

December

November

October

September

  • Fishpond pricing error 17 Sep 2012
    We have received a number of emails about online store Fishpond withdrawing a children’s "activity cube" from sale, citing a pricing error.
  • EQC mediation scheme 03 Sep 2012
    EQC is now offering a free mediation scheme. This is good news and a step forward – but there are limitations on what it covers.

August

  • Drinking water storage 31 Aug 2012
    Consumers are being warned not to use household bleach containing fragrances or detergents to treat drinking water stored for emergencies.
  • Cooktop problem 09 Aug 2012
    The cooktop that took two months to fix.
  • New rules for charity muggers 09 Aug 2012
    Paid fundraisers collecting for charity may soon be required to disclose details about what they earn.
  • Hair-dye ingredient banned 08 Aug 2012
    A substance used in hair dyes has been banned because there’s a lack of information about its safety.
  • Unexpected call charges 07 Aug 2012
    When one of our members dialled a local number and added the area code prefix, he was charged for a toll call.
  • Clothes dryer safety 06 Aug 2012
    Before you throw a load into the clothes dryer, check what the items have been used for.

July

June

May

  • Cold-calling share scam 21 May 2012
    ‘Boiler room’ scam threatens to dupe New Zealanders.
  • Switching retailers a growing trend 15 May 2012
    More households than ever are switching electricity retailers to secure a better deal.
  • False specials to be investigated - DomPost 10 May 2012
    Countdown claims its misleading ''special'' tags where there were no price reductions was due to ''simple human errors''.
  • Countdown's not-so-specials - TV3 10 May 2012 The Commerce Commission is looking into complaints that Countdown supermarkets are misleading shoppers with false "specials".
  • Door-to-door vacuum cleaner sellers 09 May 2012
    Door-to-door vacuum cleaner sellers are still doing the rounds.
  • CDMA reminder 09 May 2012
    The end is nigh … Telecom's CDMA network is on its last legs.
  • Baby walkers fail safety tests - Stuff 09 May 2012
    Consumer NZ is "strongly" advising against the use of baby walkers, saying they are not a safe place to leave a child.
  • Envirotect warned 08 May 2012
    Importers of the $3000+ Envirotect vacuum cleaner have been warned by the Commerce Commission that their promotional claims risk breaching the Fair Trading Act.
  • Alarm monitoring 08 May 2012
    If you buy a house fitted with a monitored alarm that you don't want, make sure the system is disabled.

April

  • Vitamin D and sunbeds 04 Apr 2012
    It’s official – sunbeds shouldn’t be used as a source of vitamin D.
  • Nosh milk - NZ Herald 04 Apr 2012
    A boutique grocery will sell milk for at least $1 a bottle cheaper than supermarkets in a deal it says is sustainable and exposes current mark-ups on milk.

March

  • Chrisco fined $175,000 06 Mar 2012
    Christmas hamper company Chrisco has been slapped with a $175,000 fine after pleading guilty to 10 charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act.

February

  • Tech Brands Pacific unfilled orders 29 Feb 2012
    If you’re owed products by Tech Brands Pacific, get in touch with your credit-card company and try to reverse the transaction.
  • Power price increases - Northern Advocate 28 Feb 2012
    Contact Energy is raising power charges for the third consecutive year - this time up to 14 percent.
  • Travelling with NZ Super 28 Feb 2012
    If you receive New Zealand Superannuation and travel overseas, you need to let Senior Services know.
  • Free health advice 14 Feb 2012
    Healthline is a free telephone health advice service available at any time of the day or night from anywhere in the country.
  • Staining from butyl-rubber roofs 14 Feb 2012
    We've been contacted by a homeowner concerned about grey streaks appearing on the white painted exterior walls of his house.
  • Bed troubles 13 Feb 2012
    Within a few months of buying it, a $3000 bed had developed a big ridge in the centre and two dents where the owners slept.

2011

December

  • Horse racing "investment" 16 Dec 2011
    Watch out for cold calls from a Queensland-based outfit called OLM selling an “investment package”.
  • Investing in gold 16 Dec 2011
    There’s a lot of buzz about gold … but be wary.
  • Button battery dangers 15 Dec 2011
    Parents are being warned over the dangers of small "‘button batteries".
  • Out-of-warranty phone troubles 13 Dec 2011
    Retailers use the "out of warranty" fob-off too often.
  • Credit record changes 13 Dec 2011
    From 1 April 2012, lenders will be able to find out more about your bill-paying habits.
  • Sunbeds and vitamin D levels: an exchange 09 Dec 2011
    We have agreed in the spirit of open debate to allow the Indoor Tanning Association to state its views on the role of sunbed emissions in stimulating vitamin D production.
  • Blind cord risks 30 Nov 2011
    Two children have died recently from blind-cord accidents. The children were accidentally strangled after becoming entangled in the cords.
  • Outdoor food safety 25 Nov 2011
    Follow our food-safety tips to avoid having a food-borne illness interrupt your summer holiday.
  • Christmas food safety 08 Nov 2011
    Follow our simple tips for buying, preparing, cooking and storing ham and turkey this festive season.
  • The importance of car history checks 07 Nov 2011
    For less than $20 you can check a car's history online.