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Accreditation programme

The Consumer Trusted accreditation programme is an initiative designed to advance the interests of New Zealand consumers.

Our product testing, surveys, investigations and lobbying already advance consumer protection for all New Zealanders. By accrediting businesses committed to delivering exceptional and fair customer experiences beyond consumer law requirements, we are providing consumers with confidence and leading the way in raising the standards of retail and service providers.

How does the programme work?

Consumer Trusted businesses comply with the Consumer NZ Code of Conduct (686 KB). The Code is based on principles:

  • exceptional customer service
  • fair returns and refund policies
  • fair handling of customer complaints and a dispute resolution process
  • fair contracts
  • clear pricing
  • integrity of privacy and data policy
  • accurate advertising, and
  • access to a consumer-friendly website.

The programme Rules (592 KB) govern how the Code is assessed and compliance monitored. For example:

  • If you change your mind about a product purchased from a Consumer Trusted business, you’re eligible for a full refund for non-perishable goods returned in as new condition within 30 days.
  • Purchases over $100 are price guaranteed. If the product goes on sale within a week, you are entitled to a refund of the difference.
  • Our Consumer NZ advisory service is available to provide advice about issues or complaints with any Consumer Trusted business.

How do I recognise Consumer Trusted businesses?

Accredited businesses are able to use the Consumer Trusted brandmark in any of their marketing and promotion activity and on their website. Consumer Trusted businesses are listed in our business directory, and in Consumer magazine.

Consumer trusted
Consumer trusted brand

All applications of the brandmark are approved by Consumer NZ prior to use and meet our brand usage guidelines.

Download a copy of:

FAQs for consumers

Any Kiwi retail or service business can apply for Consumer Trusted accreditation. Businesses are assessed against our Consumer Code of Conduct (PDF, 685KB). The Code has nine key principles designed to ensure high standards of customer service and confidence.

Programme Rules govern how the code is assessed and compliance monitored. Assessments are carried out annually and include on-going review by mystery shoppers and feedback received via the Consumer NZ advisory service.

The Consumer Trusted accreditation programme was developed to help you choose retail and service providers you can trust. The programme also aims to assist business to meet their obligations under the law, lead the way in raising standards and inspire businesses to up their game by recognising those delivering exceptional service.

Businesses pay a fee to be assessed against the Consumer Trusted Code of Conduct. The fee includes pre-assessment, head office, site and communication centre assessment plus mystery shopping.

Should accreditation be awarded businesses pay a non-exclusive 12-month licence fee to use the Consumer Trusted brandmark in their marketing and promotion activity.

Assessment and Licence Fees are variable based on assessment requirements and business turnover. An indication of fees is as follows.

  • Large retail/service provider: approximately $50,000
  • Medium retail/service provider: approximately $35,000
  • Small retail/service provider: approximately $20,000

Our independence is what sets us apart from other organisations. We select products for testing based on market research. Consumer Trusted businesses have no involvement in our testing programme.

Revenue from the Consumer Trusted accreditation programme is used to cover the costs of the programme and increase the scope of our research, testing and advocacy work.

In the first instance a business must meet and comply with the Consumer NZ Code of Conduct (PDF, 685KB).

The programme Rules (PDF, 592KB) govern how the Code is assessed and compliance monitored. This includes annual head office, retail site and communication centre assessments, on-going review by mystery shoppers and feedback received through our advisory service.

The accreditation programme is designed to guarantee you fair outcomes but occasionally things go wrong. Any customer of a Consumer Trusted business is able to use our advisory service for advice regarding an issue with the business or to make a complaint about the business. Call us on 0800 266 786 and we’ll help you resolve the issue.

Members can also share feedback on any of our Trusted businesses.

Consumer NZ reserves the right to withdraw accreditation from a Consumer Trusted business where there is evidence of non-compliance with the Code of Conduct (686 KB). Processes for termination of accreditation are outlined in the programme Rules (PDF, 592KB).

The accreditation application and assessment process begins with businesses submitting an Expression of Interest, ensuring Consumer NZ can complete due diligence on each application. This includes a review of any breaches of the Fair Trading Act, actions or warnings from the Commerce Commission, Disputes Tribunal hearings and our internal advisory service records. If an Expression of Interest is accepted businesses are required to complete a self-assessment against the Code of Conduct before any further assessment begins.

At this time the Code of Conduct is focused on consumer law – the Consumer Guarantees Act and the Fair Trading Act. Human Resource policies and environmental standards are covered under other laws and regulations currently beyond the scope of this programme. However, as the programme grows we will be looking to add further features.

If you have any comments you would like to share on this, email us at info@consumer.org.nz or use our feedback form.

FAQs for businesses

Consumer NZ’s purpose is to advance the interests of consumers. Consumer Trusted is designed for the Business to Consumer component of a business.

In the first instance you can review the following information:

For further information, please contact Karen McDonald, Head of Business Development - karen@consumer.org.nz.

The Consumer Trusted Assessor either conducts or manages the assessment process.

The Consumer Trusted accreditation programme extends across the customer facing brand of a business. Consumer Trusted status is not transferable to other (differently) branded companies within the same holding company. A separate application, assessment process and licence is required per consumer-facing brand. Where head office services, functions and processes are shared there may be some efficiencies in the assessment processes which will be reflected in assessment costs.

We select products for testing based on market research and we buy products from stores just like consumers do. We do not accept free or discounted products from businesses or manufacturers for testing.

We like to keep up to date with what is happening in the marketplace so if you have a new product or service that you think we might be interested in, please email info@consumer.org.nz and your email will be forwarded to our Research and Testing team.

If you wish to discuss the Consumer Trusted programme further please contact:

Karen McDonald, Head of Business Development - karen@consumer.org.nz.

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