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Christmas shoppers urged to be careful

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/12/2016

While shoppers might be rushing to fill their Christmas sacks this year, they should also take the time to familiarise themselves with their consumer rights, the Commerce Commission says.

Commissioner Anna Rawlings said legislation, such as the Fair Trading Act, protects shoppers from deceitful practices.

"For example, retailers must make sure that advertised discounts offer a genuine saving from the 'usual' or previous price," she said.

"They should also not mislead consumers about things such as hidden costs, delivery times or the quality of an item."

Those borrowing money or buying goods on credit are also afforded protections under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act.

It requires lenders to act responsibly and provide key information to customers before they enter their contracts.

Ms Rawlings said online shopping was another area where consumers should be careful.

"Complaints about online trading ... was the subject of twice as many reports as store-based trading last year," she said.

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