Half-price iPhones spark warning to shop local
A flurry of flyers promising half-price iPhones to people who pay by international bank transfer has prompted a warning from Retail NZ.
The flyers were distributed around Wellington.
"We are aware that someone has gone to some expense to print and deliver colour flyers to households purporting to sell half-price technology kit from an anonymous offshore company, with express delivery within two days," said Retail NZ spokesman Greg Harford.
"The company doesn't have a website or phone number, and requires customers to pay only by bank transfer or money order. A customer trying to purchase these items runs the risk that they will not be protected either by New Zealand consumer law, or the guarantees that typically apply to credit card transactions."
He said New Zealand shoppers could protect themselves by buying from local businesses.
"Consumers in New Zealand are well protected by the Fair Trading Act and the the Consumer Guarantees Act, but the legislation is very difficult to enforce outside New Zealand," Harford said.
"Genuine retailers try their best to provide great customer service, and meet all their legal obligations to customers. We strongly recommend that, in order to protect themselves, consumers make sure they know from whom they are buying, and take steps to make sure that the business is genuine."
Harford said, wherever a retailer was based, it was important that people knew who they were transacting with,
"Just because a flyer has come in the letterbox, or a company has a .co.nz website address doesn't necessarily mean that the company is legitimate.
"There are plenty of reputable businesses based offshore selling to New Zealanders, but there are also some pretty dodgy dealers out there.
"If an offshore firm selling in New Zealand doesn't have a website or a phone number, and doesn't take credit cards, you'd want to ask some questions about why this is. The bottom line is that if a deal looks too good to be true, then it probably is.
"Our #shoplocal campaign is about supporting local Kiwi businesses to support the ongoing development of the New Zealand economy. But shopping local is also good for consumers. The best consumer protection is buying from a New Zealand firm that's subject to New Zealand law, and we continue to encourage Kiwis to shop locally wherever possible".