Consumer Guarantees Act (NZ)

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Consumer Guarantees Act
Date of Royal Assent 20 August 1993
Date commenced 1 April 1994
Status: Current legislation

The Consumer Guarantees Act [1993] was a significant improvement of consumer protection in New Zealand over its predecessor The Sale of Good's Act [1908], and rectifies a lot of its shortcomings.

Differences over the Sales of Goods Act[edit]

One of the CGA's biggest changes was that it now extended protection to consumers for the supply of services, and not just for purchases of goods under the old Act. Another change was that the CGA explicitly outlawed a merchant from contracting out of the CGA, such as having a "no refunds" or "no returns" displayed.

Guarantees for Goods[edit]

The CGA gives guarantees to free title, quality, fitness for purpose and price of consumer goods. The goods must also comply with description and with sample. If a good is faulty, the Act gives the retailer a reasonable time to either fix or replace the goods, otherwise the consumer has the right to reject the goods, cancel the contract, and obtain a full refund from the retailer.

Guarantees for Services[edit]

The CGA gives guarantees of reasonable care and skill, of fitness for purpose, of completion, and of price for consumer services supplied.

Shortfalls of the CGA[edit]

Whilst the CGA was a significant improvement over the SGA, it still does not cover purchases made by auction, which is especially relevant to purchase made on online auction sites, such as Trademe. However, parliament is in the process of passing legislation to extend CGA protection to auctions. And the CGA does not apply to either commercial goods, or consumer good or services supplied for business purposes.

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