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# 243501 14-Dec-2018 16:18
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From the Commerce Commission today:

 

Media Release

 

Issued 14 December 2018
Release No. 91 

Noel Leeming fined $200,000 for misleading consumers


Retailer Noel Leeming Group Limited (Noel Leeming) has today been fined $200,000 for misleading consumers about their rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA), following a Commerce Commission prosecution.

Noel Leeming was convicted on eight charges under the Fair Trading Act, for making false or misleading representations to consumers about their rights under the CGA.

Each charge relates to a different complainant and the conduct occurred between September 2015 and January 2017 at seven Noel Leeming stores across New Zealand. The complainants purchased consumer goods such as mobile phones, laptops and household appliances.

“This prosecution related to multiple consumers in multiple locations. It was not isolated or ‘one off’ conduct. Consumers complained to Noel Leeming about products and were entitled to have their complaints treated seriously, investigated properly and remedied where appropriate. Instead they were misled – sometimes repeatedly – about their rights under the law, at a moment when it really mattered to consumers that their legal rights were honoured,” said Commissioner Anna Rawlings.

Consumers were misled about:

 

  • the right to seek remedies for faulty goods from Noel Leeming rather than the manufacturer
  • the right to a refund for a faulty product
  • the right to a replacement for a faulty product.

In sentencing in the Auckland District Court today, Judge Nicola Mathers said there were “direct and significant departures from the truth in every case … consumers were denied their rights and had real difficulty dealing with Noel Leeming.”

One complainant told the court that he got “disruptions, anxiety, stress, [and] the feeling that I was the bad guy because I was inconveniencing them, making their life harder.”

Noel Leeming made misrepresentations such as that:

 

  • claims under the CGA about an iPhone had to be negotiated with Apple directly
  • the CGA “is not effective for” Noel Leeming, and a consumer was not entitled to a refund despite false representations made about the suitability of a mobile phone
  • a consumer had to contact Microsoft about a faulty product
  • Noel Leeming could repair a fridge as many times as it liked; the consumer was also told he could only get a store credit to purchase another fridge
  • mobile phones are only replaced within 14 days, and a new phone could only be obtained if a fault occurs three times

“These statements are simply wrong. The CGA entitles consumers to receive a remedy from Noel Leeming, as the supplier. A supplier cannot refuse to deal with its customers and refer them to the manufacturer. The CGA is also clear about the circumstances in which a refund or replacement is available. These statements should not have been made to consumers,” said Ms Rawlings.

Since 2007 the Commission has three times warned or issued compliance advice to Noel Leeming about potentially misleading consumers as to their CGA rights.

 

 

 

 





________

 

Antonios K

 

Click to see full size


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  # 2145428 14-Dec-2018 16:22
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If only there was a way to make them stop this misconduct in the future


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  # 2145438 14-Dec-2018 16:40
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dryburn:

 

If only there was a way to make them stop this misconduct in the future

 

 

Take it straight out of the CEO's salary ? Don''t suppose he'd notice such a small amount though.





rb99


 
 
 
 


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  # 2145440 14-Dec-2018 16:48
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To some extent, this is down to poor staff training and haphazard HR practices I suspect.

 

I have encountered NL staff who are very good and others closer to the behaviours noted above.






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  # 2145449 14-Dec-2018 17:17
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i dont think there is one major retail chain that follows the CGA laws , this is pretty common in my dealings with retail shops, i even tell them they are breaking the law and most dont care, i have yet to have anyone tell me my rights under the Cga when offering a extended warranty as the law states and the number of staff that tell me to ring the supplier is just more than bad training.





Common sense is not as common as you think.


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  # 2145513 14-Dec-2018 20:44
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I've said it before and will say it again: jail staff and management involved in intentionally misleading customers on the CGA. Jail management that fails to implement proper CGA-training programmes.

 

 

 

 


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  # 2145517 14-Dec-2018 20:56
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Geektastic:

 

To some extent, this is down to poor staff training and haphazard HR practices I suspect.

 

I have encountered NL staff who are very good and others closer to the behaviours noted above.

 

 

Down to commissions I'd suggest. They earn a commission on sales, that gets reduced on a credit. Staff look after staff


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  # 2145518 14-Dec-2018 20:57
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vexxxboy:

 

i dont think there is one major retail chain that follows the CGA laws , this is pretty common in my dealings with retail shops, i even tell them they are breaking the law and most dont care, i have yet to have anyone tell me my rights under the Cga when offering a extended warranty as the law states and the number of staff that tell me to ring the supplier is just more than bad training.

 

 

Agree. For every punter that digs in and gets the CGA result, god knows how many suck it up


 
 
 
 


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  # 2145633 15-Dec-2018 00:11
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tdgeek:

 

Geektastic:

 

To some extent, this is down to poor staff training and haphazard HR practices I suspect.

 

I have encountered NL staff who are very good and others closer to the behaviours noted above.

 

 

Down to commissions I'd suggest. They earn a commission on sales, that gets reduced on a credit. Staff look after staff

 

 

 

 

Then I suggest that the management of NL have a nice weekend away with some experienced international retail consultants and revamp their business from top to bottom, perhaps replicating a structure like that used by John Lewis.

 

Or, pack up, go home and leave us to get on with shopping at Amazon...! cool






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  # 2145642 15-Dec-2018 07:32
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NL is owned by The Warehouse Group - who will not be happy about this. Expect some pretty heavy directives at the top level which will be required to be trickled down.

What is disturbing is that the CC has had to deal to NL three times since 2007.

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  # 2145644 15-Dec-2018 08:02
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I wonder if this will make them actually stop doing this, or they'll just say, "oh well, let's just pay the fine and carry on as we were before. After all, we were making such great profits doing it the wrong before, weren't we?"


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  # 2145672 15-Dec-2018 09:56
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Good chance that all the big companies make contributions to Labour and National so consumer laws and penalties will never have big enough teeth.


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  # 2145677 15-Dec-2018 10:21
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The $200k penalty us nothing and irrelevant, the significant publicity of this action is all that will make them change, we hope!.

Cyril

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  # 2145730 15-Dec-2018 12:04
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Based on my experience of dealing with this retailer, along with all the negative feedback on their Facebook page, it seems as if they don't actually have policies or procedures for anything. So, when the management claim that they are going to improve policies and procedures around the CGA what they really mean is that they will circulate a memo about it which will be ignored or very quickly forgotten.


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  # 2145763 15-Dec-2018 14:09
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I know someone who recently asked Noel Leeming about having a Panasonic DVD player made region-free and was told by a 'technical' person that it would cost a ton of money and might not work!

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2145831 15-Dec-2018 15:34
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Speaking of dodgy Noel Leeming practices they've hiked all their TV prices in preparation for their boxing day sale where they can then offer 20% (or whatever they normally do) off everything.

 

Looking at a random sample of LG and Sony TV's they're all now in the vicinity of 20% more expensive than direct competitors such as Harvey Norman and JB HiFi.

 

 


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