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Mobile trader fined over Christmas deal

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/03/2017

Auckland-based mobile trader Sales Concepts Ltd has been fined $145,000 after pleading guilty to 10 charges under the Fair Trading Act relating to its "Christmas deal bundles".

The sentence was handed down in North Shore District Court, which was told that the North Island door-to-door business sold bundles of electronic goods on layby to consumers between October and December 2015.

The customers were told the goods would be delivered by Christmas 2015 if they were up to date on their payments.

However, they received only one of the goods before Christmas, with the rest being delivered on full payment.

Judge Pippa Sinclair said it was clear that customers intended to use the goods as Christmas presents and the company would have been aware of the misrepresentations made by staff.

Further charges related to the firm making misleading representations about the products being made in New Zealand, the total price of the Christmas bundle, the inclusion of a delivery fee and customers' cancellation rights.

The firm was also found to have failed to comply with the disclosure requirements for uninvited direct sales agreements.

Commerce Commissioner Anna Rawlings said Sales Concepts stopped its misrepresentations and agreed to refund its customers after the commission intervened in December 2015.

"But its Christmas sales practices had already caused confusion and distress at a time of year when many people come under financial pressure," she said.

Last July, Sales Concepts was issued a warning letter over what the commission considered to be unsubstantiated representations about its "Envirochip" products and radiation protection.

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