Commerce Commission cracks down on misleading pricing

After significant consumer complaints.

Pricing, discounting and other advertising and promotional practices have become a focus area for the New Zealand Commerce Commission, following a significant number of complaints from consumers who have been misled by, or are concerned about, discount sales advertising and price promotions both in-store and online. Pricing concerns were the largest source of complaints to the Commission in 2016.

“Consumers are attracted to discount sales and we know that discount sales can drive competition among retailers and value for consumers. However, when price claims are not accurate and discounts are exaggerated, consumers do not get the ‘bargain’ they believed they were getting. It is also unfair to other retailers who are offering genuine special prices and pricing their goods accurately,” the Commerce Commission said in an open letter to retailers.

Companies can be fined up to $600,000 for each breach and an individual up to $200,000. Where a company is a repeat offender, directors and those involved in the management of the company can be banned from involvement in the management of any company for a period of up to 10 years.

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