Must read – Major changes in the way you do business with customers

June 11, 2014

in Corporate & Business

Corporate & BusinessThere have been significant changes to the Fair Trading Act 1986 and the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993, the majority of which will come into force on the 18th June 2014.

The changes mean a significant increase in consumer protection and provide the Commerce Commission with far reaching investigatory and regulatory enforcement powers.

Suppliers of goods and services need to be aware of the changes that will be required to your terms of trade, both now and when the last of the changes come in next year.  Changes to your online terms of use will also be necessary.

From June 2015 there will be prohibitions on unfair contract terms, except in very limited circumstances.  These prohibitions will prevent unilateral termination or variation clauses, entire agreement clauses and limitation of liability clauses, so will have significant impact for you as a supplier of goods or services.

There are also changes to the way in which direct door to door sales, uninvited sales, auctions and online trading can take place.   As a trader you also need to be aware of the new evidentiary requirements to support claims you are making about the quality of your goods.

The Commerce Commission will have broad powers including the ability to prosecute for breaches, warrants to enter and inspect premises, compulsory interview powers and powers to issue infringement notices.  The penalties and consequences for breaches are serious and some individuals committing breaches could face fines of up to $200,000.00 in some instances or a ban from trading.

We will be posting a series of news blogs over the coming weeks identifying the major changes to the law, and highlighting what you need to do to prepare for the changes to ensure that you are not at risk of breaching the legislation.

It is crucial as a business owner/employer that you and your staff are aware of the many significant consumer law reforms.  Farry and Co can provide you with the necessary legal advice and support in these matters.

If you require any advice or further information on the matters dealt with in this publication please contact the lawyer at Farry and Co who normally advises you, or alternatively contact:


Kirsten Maclean

(03) 477 8870 or (09) 379 0055



The information contained in this publication is intended as a guide only.  It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.  Professional advice should be sought before applying any of the information to particular circumstances.  While every reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, Farry and Co. does not accept liability for any errors it may contain. 




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