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16 June 2016

Truck shops sentenced under new law

Businesses to pay total of $171,500.

Two mobile truck shops have been fined a total of $171,500 under strengthened laws for lenders.

Goodring was fined $98,000 for breaches of the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 (CCCFA) and the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act (FSPA). Betterlife was fined $73,500 for breaches of the CCCFA.

Goodring and Betterlife had earlier pleaded guilty to 28 charges and six charges respectively under the CCCFA, relating to their lending practices. Both companies failed to provide borrowers with the legally required information and information that was provider was not clear an concise. Goodring faced two additional charges under the FSPA for not being registered on the Financial Service Providers register.

Commerce Commission General Counsel Mary-Anne Borrowdale said the amended credit laws were important in protecting some of New Zealand’s more vulnerable consumers.

Betterlife and Goodring are based in Auckland and usually operate from a truck or go door-to-door. They sell consumer goods on credit at significantly higher prices than mainstream stores. The Commerce Commission said one Betterlife customer purchased an iPhone 5C for $2401, to pay off in instalments, when these phones typically retail for about $600.

The Commission has prosecuted six mobile traders this year. In February, Flexi Buy Limited was fined $50,000 in the Auckland District Court and $3,480 was awarded in damages to affected customers. The fourth trader, Ace Marketing Limited, has pleaded guilty to the Commission’s charges and is expected to be sentenced in July. The fifth, Macful International Limited, appeared in Manukau District Court on Monday, June 13, on 21 charges. A sixth mobile trader has not yet appeared in Court.

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