Consumer NZ has spoken publicly this week about “unfair” terms in consumer contracts.
Changes to the Fair Trading Act 1986 (“FTA”) which came into effect last year aim to provide greater protection for consumers when entering into contracts with businesses, as there is usually little or no chance for these to be negotiated by members of the public.
Consumer NZ comments this week have identified gym contracts as being of particular concern to them. Gym contracts have been found to include overly onerous cancellation terms and provisions which attempt to limit or exclude liability in all circumstances; these are likely to be considered “unfair” under the new FTA provisions.
Other forms of consumer contracts which may attract particular focus from Consumer NZ and/or the Commerce Commission in the future, include those relating to:
Coupon deal promotions
We recommend that those businesses who contract with consumers on standard terms review their contracts to ensure that they are in line with the FTA provisions and contact Mark O’Donnell for further advice.