In April the Commerce Commission issued a safety warning about two models of Transforma multi-purpose ladder.

These were sold between 2007 and March 2013 by Brand Developers Ltd (BDL), mainly through TV infomercials and trade suppliers. The affected models are:

  • Transforma TRL35 ladder (35 different sized ladders in one).
  • Transforma TRL24 ladder (24 different sized ladders in one).

The ladders don't fully meet the mandatory safety standard AS/NZS 1892.1:1996 for ladders rated at 180kg. The ladders didn't pass one of the tests included in the standard and received inconsistent results for another.

What steps have been taken?

The ladders haven't been recalled. They did pass the 120kg tests so they’re safe to use at that maximum weight. BDL is contacting buyers and sending them a sticker to attach to the ladder, which re-rates the ladder from 180kg to 120kg. It’s also sending a revised instruction manual leaflet. BDL is also placing notices in retail stores and advertisements in major newspapers.

BDL says the ladders can be used safely as intended in an A-frame position – but customers should exercise care until they receive the new instructions and not exceed a load of 120kg.

What else can you do?

Some buyers may have bought these ladders because of the 180kg maximum load claim. One of the advertised features of Transforma ladders is their multi-functional use – so two people plus materials could be on the ladder “scaffold-style”. This could easily exceed 120kg, which makes a ladder rated to 180kg attractive. Most ladders available in New Zealand are only rated to 120kg or 150kg.

If you bought the ladder because of the 180kg maximum load claim, the ladder may no longer be fit for purpose. You can ask for a full refund under the Consumer Guarantees Act if you bought the ladder for domestic use. One of our members bought the ladder because of the 180kg claim and has received a full refund. If the ladder was bought for business use you may have rights under the Fair Trading Act as the ladder's maximum load-rating was falsely represented.

BDL has provided a number for owners of these ladders to call. We suggest you contact BDL on 0800 008 666. They will arrange for someone to call you back. Alternatively you can write to them at:

Brand Developers Limited 521 Lake Road Level 1 Takapuna Auckland 0622

If you are unhappy with the response you get from BDL, and you are a Consumer member, contact us.