Another truck shop in hot legal water over poor grammar in consumer credit contracts

Home Direct is the only retail shop operating out of a van that the Commerce Commission found to be abiding by the law.
CRAIG SIMCOX/STUFF

Home Direct is the only retail shop operating out of a van that the Commerce Commission found to be abiding by the law.

A truck shop selling food, clothing and electronics out of five vans has been fined $108,000 for poor grammar in its consumer credit contracts. 

Zee Shop, which operated in South Auckland suburbs, pleaded guilty to seven of 15 charges made against it by the Commerce Commission under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act.

Auckland District Court Judge David Wilson said poor grammar and syntax made some of the shop's consumer credit contract clauses  "incomprehensible".

Commissioner Anna Rawlings said the shop also routinely failed to include key information in the contracts such as the total number of payments needed and a statement of the consumer's right to cancel the contract.

READ MORE:
* Commerce Commission truck shop crackdown nets near $1m in fines 
Mobile truck shops investigated by Commerce Commission

Retailers offering consumer credit, such as gift cards or loans, are required by law to disclose that information to customers. 

Zee Shop is the latest victim in the Commerce Commission's crack down on mobile shops selling goods on credit. Its fine brings the Commission's total amount of imposed fines against such shops to $990,000 since proceedings started.

The Commission investigated the mobile trade industry from 2014 to 2015 and highlighted 31 shops that were not complying with the law in its 2014/15 Mobile Trader report. It found only one truck shop that was abiding to the Fair Trading Act and Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act.

Zee Shop was not included in the report because it was brought to the Commission's attention after the report was published. 

Another South Auckland based truck shop selling household items, Budget Warehouse, was fined $100,000 after pleading to 18 charges of breaching the same act. It was ordered by the court to return $33,419 in fees to customers.

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The same court also prosecuted mobile trader Best Buy almost $83,400 for unclear consumer credit contracts. 

 - Stuff

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