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Mobile shop pleads guilty to breaches

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5 days ago Sophie Boot

Truck shop operator Bestdeals 4 You has pleaded guilty to 19 charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act as well as the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act in Auckland's District Court.

Bestdeals is the ninth mobile trader to be prosecuted since the Commerce Commission's investigation into the industry last year. It will be sentenced on Dec. 16, the Commerce Commission said in a statement.

The company, which operates under the name Easylayby, operates a mobile business selling door-to-door in Auckland, Whangarei, and Hastings. It also operates Super Mobile, a store in South Auckland which offers layby sales.

Bestdeals breached the Fair Trading Act by failing to comply with disclosure requirements for layby sales agreements, particularly by not providing customers with a copy of the terms and conditions of those agreements, the regulator said.

It breached the CCCF Act by not telling consumers they had the right to cancel the contract, the right to apply for relief in the case of unforeseen hardship, and not giving details of the number of payments they had to make.

The Commerce Commission has 13 open investigations into mobile traders, while the District Court has imposed fines of about $510,000 on five mobile traders sentenced so far this year.

Its mobile trader report published last August after a year-long investigation into the industry found that 31 out of 32 mobile traders identified didn't comply with their legal obligations.

The main problems were a lack of disclosure to customers entering into contracts and a failure to be registered as financial service providers.

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