10 Mar 2012

Consumers 'being misled' over extended warranties

4:41 pm on 10 March 2012

Consumer New Zealand says a new survey has found appliance retailers are still misleading consumers into thinking they need to buy extended warranties, despite the results of a mystery shopper survey in 2007.

The consumer watchdog has finished a second survey of six retailers, including Bond and Bond, Harvey Norman and Noel Leeming.

Consumer New Zealand deputy chief executive David Naulles says just as they did in 2007, sales staff in the latest survey were still confusing the mystery shoppers into thinking the extended warranties offer more protection than the Consumer Guarantees Act.

The shoppers were told it would be their responsibility to deal with manufacturers if products fail after a year's warranty is up and before a reasonable amount of time has passed.

Consumer New Zealand says legally, the retailer must solve the problem and it is disappointing that people are still being told otherwise.

Mr Naulles says extended warranties are a lucrative sideline for retailers and sales staff and that they have incentives to push them to consumers.

Mr Naulles says Consumer New Zealand will make a submission to a select committee considering new legislation requiring retailers to provide customers with more information about their legal rights.