The Top Brands for tech in 201719 Jan 2018
Top Brand reflects the overall product ownership experience. To achieve an award a brand must excel in Consumer NZ product testing and be a high achiever in our customer satisfaction and reliability surveys.
Consumer NZ test finds 6 out of 7 trampolines unsafe20 Dec 2017
Only 1 trampoline met all the critical safety checks in a test by Consumer NZ. Of 7 models tested, only the Springfree, a soft-edge trampoline with its frame and springs beneath the jumping mat, passed all impact, structural and entrapment tests.
Prezzy Card replaces expired $2500 card06 Dec 2017
After 15 years with his employer, Murray Hodson was rewarded with a Prezzy Card loaded with a generous $2700. Murray was chuffed with his gift, until he jumped online to check his balance and discovered the card had expired with nearly $2500 of credit on it.
Sunscreens test shows need for regulation01 Dec 2017
Consumer NZ’s latest test of sunscreens highlights New Zealand’s situation of classifying sunscreens as cosmetics is not protecting consumers and needs to change.
We're against website blocking29 Nov 2017
Sky TV is seeking a high court injunction under the New Zealand Copyright Act to require internet service providers (ISPs) to block certain websites the pay TV provider has deemed provide content illegally. The Vocus Group – which owns Flip, Orcon and Slingshot – has called the move “gross censorship”.
Aero Fire told to stop faking services28 Nov 2017
A company charging to service fire extinguishers but not actually carrying out the work has been issued with a “stop now” letter by the Commerce Commission.
We’re calling for added sugar labelling21 Nov 2017
Consumer NZ and the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) are asking the government to back new rules for the labelling of added sugars in food and drinks.
Rest home ordered to pay $10,000 for law breaches08 Nov 2017
Major rest home provider Bupa Care Services has been ordered to pay $10,000 by the Disputes Tribunal after failing to deliver reasonable standards of care to a 92-year-old woman who resided at its St Kilda Care Home in Cambridge.
Review site warned over ratings06 Nov 2017
A review site claiming to offer unbiased ratings, but which excluded some companies, has got a warning from the Commerce Commission.
Solar panel retailer warned over claims04 Nov 2017
New Zealand Home Services has been warned to stop talking up the financial benefit of installing solar panels. The Commerce Commission said the company's claims made on its website and at sales representations were likely to have breached the Fair Trading Act.
Not all fly sprays get the job done03 Nov 2017
If you’re after a “natural” fly spray, you’ll be disappointed. The only fly spray containing natural pyrethrins in a Consumer NZ test left more than 80% of flies still alive.
iPhone X's success rests on face ID feature14 Sep 2017
Apple has launched its long-awaited new iPhones alongside an upgrade of its Apple TV. But the biggest news came in the form of the iPhone X (X is the Roman numeral, so it should be said “iPhone 10”, but X sounds cooler).
Prezzy Card expiry dates catch out consumers31 Aug 2017
Twenty-five retailers ditched or extended their gift card expiry dates last year in response to our Drop the Dates campaign. But the company behind one gift card that we continue to get complaints about refuses to budge on its 12-month term.
Time for clampdown on ticket resellers30 Aug 2017
Inflated prices, hidden fees and misleading sales tactics have been identified as major problems in the ticket resale market, in a joint investigation by Consumer NZ and Australian consumer group Choice.
Mitre 10 warned over price claims23 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 terms21 Aug 2017
Major gym chains have been told to get rid of unfair terms in their consumer contracts, following a Commerce Commission review.
Four telcos get warning letters15 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 milk11 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 Choice08 Aug 2017
Seventy-one percent of Flick customers were very satisfied with the provider, compared with the industry average of 45%.
Banking Ombudsman turns 2503 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 petition02 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 English02 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.
Mercury's free day of power falls flat28 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.
10 tips for staying warm for less13 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.
"Laybuy" name risks misleading consumers5 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 20175 Jul 2017
Kate Tokeley, senior lecturer in law at Victoria University of Wellington, has been elected to the Consumer NZ board.
“Big Winter Switch” offers are here30 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.
Pigcare label risked misleading consumers27 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 launched14 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.
Mercury sorry for “disconnection” letter01 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.
Consumer NZ steps up fight for CoOL labelling01 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.
Spot prices rise as lake levels fall31 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?
BNZ awarded People’s Choice25 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.
Spark’s telephone network to be upgraded09 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.
Want financial advice? Save $100,00005 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.
Cold & flu remedies lack evidence04 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.
Don’t deal with this electronics retailer27 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.
Consumer investigating ticket resellers20 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 closer13 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 company10 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 kit10 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 green07 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).
Vehicle complaints on the rise07 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 mislead05 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 parking04 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.
Trader fined $145k for Christmas deals15 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.
Lender must refund $1.4m in fees07 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 age03 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 unstuck03 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 sentence03 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 investigated01 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.
Scam callers preying on vulnerable13 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 Trusted13 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 specials10 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.
$1m fine for misleading Nurofen claims03 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 costs03 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 revealed02 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.
Ford investigating Kuga fire30 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 rating26 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.
Cots cost Baby City $39k fine20 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 proposed16 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.
Bee pollen claims land company in court20 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 go19 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.
Godfreys fined over extended warranties19 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 court16 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 fine16 Dec 2016
Insurance company Youi NZ has been fined $320,000 in the Auckland District Court for breaching the Fair Trading Act.
New line charges proposed09 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 survey07 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 treatments07 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 relaunched07 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 law06 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.
Inaction on palm oil labelling disappoints30 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.
$7500 data bill among telco complaints3 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 help2 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 effect1 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.
Fitbit reliability results disappoint27 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 push26 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 speed20 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.
Consumer groups criticise Samsung14 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 yoghurt14 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 refund11 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.
HP backs down on third-party ink block06 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 launched05 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 bill05 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.
Airbag recall back in spotlight04 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.
Booking websites ease rules in Aussie28 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.
Godfreys pleads guilty over warranties02 Sep 2016
Retailer Godfreys has pleaded guilty to selling extended warranties that failed to provide customers with mandatory information about their legal rights.
Cosmetic chemical up for review01 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 replaced01 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.
Unfair terms in energy contracts30 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 documents26 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.
Trustpower taken to court over ads19 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 shine16 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.
Insurance firm Youi taken to court11 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 complaints09 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).
King Salmon farms fail guidelines05 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.
Pre-approval letters land Harmoney in court02 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.
Pokémon Go and what you need to know20 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 borrowers15 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.
Households cutting back on heating6 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.
Motel told to call off debt collectors4 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.
Hand sanitisers under scrutiny30 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 commissions29 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 Choice28 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 scam24 Jun 2016
Kathleen Sime lost $8000 to a telephone scammer last month. She’s furious and wants to warn other Consumer members.
Foil insulation to be banned13 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 sugar13 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 underinsured10 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 wash09 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.
Hackers target builders’ accounts27 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 regulation25 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.
Vehicle rego fee cut for most20 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 customers19 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 sting18 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 surcharges17 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 reported12 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.
Fake oregano products found12 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 cars12 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 home11 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.
“New Zealand made” claims misleading03 May 2016
A company claiming two dietary supplements were “100% New Zealand made” has been pulled up by the High Court for misleading consumers.
Five steps to take before buying a car22 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.
Chrisco pinged for unfair term14 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 complaints11 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.
Gym terms get a workout06 Apr 2016
A Wellington gym-goer has received a refund after challenging his gym’s cancellation terms.
Airlines' lost luggage liability limited06 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.
Phil & Teds given safety warning29 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.
Avoid a declined insurance claim24 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 Easter24 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 updated21 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 ticks17 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.
Warning sounded over sales tactics16 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 food15 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.
Woolworths to pay $3m in penalties15 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-unblockers10 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 computers08 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 lesson08 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 gels04 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.
Easy recipes beat big-name cleaners19 Feb 2016
Two of our tests have found using a simple home-made cleaner can get better results than products from some of the big names in cleaning.
Duvet sellers in court over claims16 Feb 2016
The Commerce Commission has brought charges against two businesses and four people for allegedly claiming duvets they sold contained alpaca wool.
Westpac to pay $4m in compensation16 Feb 2016
More than 100,000 Westpac New Zealand customers were overcharged when they withdrew money from Westpac ATMs while in Australia between October 2012 and August 2014.
Beware of scams this Valentine's Day12 Feb 2016
Those spurred on by Valentine’s Day to look for love online are being warned about tell-tale signs their potential partner is really a scammer.
Telcos outed for unfair terms10 Feb 2016
Seven telcos have amended their consumer contracts to remove potentially unfair terms following a Commerce Commission review.
Refund given for dud orchestra recital22 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.
Retailers fined over bamboo claims21 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).
Nurofen packaging to change23 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 job22 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 warning18 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 emails17 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.
Fraud Awareness Week kicks off16 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 award13 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.
Colour-care shampoo doesn’t fight fade11 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 cure06 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 cleaners06 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 warning06 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.
Bank complaints info needs improving30 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 roasting30 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 $150k27 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.
Businesses become Consumer Trusted15 Oct 2015
We’re delighted to announce electricity provider Flick Electric Co. and hearing health care provider Triton Hearing have received Consumer Trusted accreditation.
Snack bars lose Heart Foundation’s Tick08 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”.
Event Cinemas given warning29 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 rebuilt24 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 bed24 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”.
Telcos cause most complaints24 Sep 2015
Telcos and home appliance retailers continue to cause the most complaints to the Commerce Commission.
TPPA case to be heard on Monday23 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 October22 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 crayons17 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 calls14 Sep 2015
Scammers pretending to be calling from Microsoft are targeting New Zealanders at the moment, with one victim losing $5000.
Apple announces new tech11 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 frugally04 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 water04 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 complaint01 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 court01 Sep 2015
A mobile trader has been arrested and appeared in the Auckland District Court after the Commerce Commission filed charges.
Apricot kernel decision due soon28 Aug 2015
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) wants to ban the sale of raw apricot kernels, which are touted as a cancer cure but can be poisonous if you eat too many.
Councils call for plastic bag levy20 Jul 2015
The government will spend $1.2 million on a plastic bag recycling initiative, but it’s been told it needs to go further and introduce a compulsory charge for plastic bags.
Big power companies rate lowest07 Jul 2015
Big power companies received the lowest ratings for customer satisfaction in Consumer NZ’s latest annual survey.
Door-to-door seller cautioned29 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 reminder29 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 $25,00029 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.
New guide defines building defects24 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 Jetstar22 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.
Enforcement key to new lending rules05 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 appliances03 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.
Less salt going into packaged food29 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 terminated29 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 challenged28 May 2015
Property management companies Oxygen and Quinovic are charging tenants fees of $495 to $575 to end fixed-term tenancies.
Truck shop being investigated21 May 2015
The Commerce Commission is investigating a truck shop over what it says are serious breaches of the law.
Chocolate Easter bunnies27 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 home20 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.
Groupon customers should check statement30 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 use30 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 chair29 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.
Students send message to door knockers27 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 short22 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.
Fisher & Paykel fined over warranty offer22 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 sweet22 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 game19 Dec 2014
Lightbox gave everyone an early Christmas present this week with three massive announcements.
Two finance companies facing charges17 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 phones17 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.
Sunscreen testing results confuse8 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 $19m05 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.
High demand for stickers24 Nov 2014
Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.
Investigation clears Countdown20 Nov 2014
A Commerce Commission investigation into the way Progressive Enterprises Ltd, the owner of Countdown supermarkets, treats its suppliers has not found any reason to prosecute.
Decision good news for households31 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 stranded30 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.
Virtual keyboards24 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 milk23 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 up23 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.
Heart Foundation adds to tick programme01 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.
Kiwis warned about General Equity30 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 bills30 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.
Get your finances fighting fit30 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.
A look at the changes we've made24 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.
Company and director get record fine05 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 system04 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 report03 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.
Beware of Facebook colour change app12 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 drinks11 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 adaptors11 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.
Egg farm's owner gets home detention05 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.
L'Oreal's age-defying claims mislead05 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”.
Scam threatens victims with deportation04 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-up01 Aug 2014
Telecom (soon to be Spark) has released more information about its upcoming on-demand video streaming service, Lightbox.
Fee waived in parking dispute news11 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 rights10 Mar 2014
Along with consumer organisations around the world, we’re calling for better protection for consumers in the mobile market.
Faulty paint job compensation17 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 payout05 Feb 2014
Vodafone has paid nearly $270,000 to customers following a Commerce Commission investigation into the company’s "Broadband Lite" promotion.
Dynamic Currency Conversion05 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?
Compare your KiwiSaver fund16 Dec 2013
Thanks to new disclosure rules you can now compare apples with apples when it comes to KiwiSaver funds.
Laundry blues12 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.
Adams wrong on retail pricing06 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 saga06 Dec 2013
One packet of sausages with two labels. Same list of ingredients, different nutritional information.
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?
Blue Earth sunscreen complaint upheld30 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 performance30 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.
Axe the copper tax12 Sep 2013
Copy of a speech made by Sue Chetwin at the press conference of the Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing.
Scanning receipts09 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?
"Deadlocked" complaints up03 Jul 2013
Complaints to the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner have dropped but the proportion of complaints reaching "deadlock" is up.
Wiring maintenance charges02 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 Cuba02 Jul 2013
One of our members discovered that if you're holidaying in Cuba then your travel insurance might not cover you.
Misleading ticket prices30 May 2013
Tried to book a ticket for the advertised price and been stung with extra "service fees"? Join the queue.
Credit record changes13 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 exchange09 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 risks30 Nov 2011
Two children have died recently from blind-cord accidents. The children were accidentally strangled after becoming entangled in the cords.
Outdoor food safety25 Nov 2011
Follow our food-safety tips to avoid having a food-borne illness interrupt your summer holiday.
Christmas food safety08 Nov 2011
Follow our simple tips for buying, preparing, cooking and storing ham and turkey this festive season.