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Auckland mobile trader charged; Best Buy pleads guilty in ongoing ComCom action

15 Feb 17

Appenture Marketing has joined a growing list of companies facing action from the Commerce Commission, while Best Buy has pleaded guilty to 16 charges, following a crack down on mobile traders.

The Commerce Commission says it has filed 24 charges against Appenture Marketing Ltd for failing to provide consumers with key contract information and for making false and misleading representations to consumers about their rights.

The charges against Appenture Marketing, which sells consumer goods including electronics, continue long running action against mobile traders following the Commission’s Mobile Trader 2014/15 report, which identified industry wide compliance issues.

Eleven mobile traders were prosecuted in 2016, including Best Buy, with 12 ongoing investigations remaining in play.

The Appenture Marketing charges, which were filed in the Auckland District Court under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 and the Fair Trading Act, allege the company failed to disclose certain key information to consumers when entering into credit contracts.

The Commission is also alleging Appenture made misleading representations to consumers about the guarantee relating to the delivery of goods, the amount recoverable by Appenture followign repossessin and sale of the goods and the guarantee relating to goods matching their description.

Meanwhile, last month, Best Buy pleaded guilty to 16 charges relating to its door-to-door sales business in Auckland and smaller North Island towns.

The trader, which sells consumer goods including mobile phones and electronics, was one of 11 mobile traders prosecuted last year. In November, Ace Marketing and Smart Shop limited received the highest penalties yet in the ongoing action, when they were fined $150,000 and $135,000 respectively.

The Commerce Commission says 11 of the charges to which Best Buy has pleaded guilty to relate to failing to disclose required information to customers about their consumer credit contracts before the contract was entered into.

The Commission says many of Best Buy’s consumer credit contracts failed to disclose information such as an accurate statement of the amount or number of payments needed, an accurate statement of the debtor’s cancellation rights, and the right to apply for hardship relief.

The remaining five charges relate to a contract clause ‘which was likely to mislead customers into thinking Best Buy had a right to repossess goods when it did not’.

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