Another step forward for 'Trade Me protection' law

The Consumer Law Reform Bill, the first extensive update to the current consumer law in over twenty years, has been opened for submissions.

In an aim to protect Trade Me users and others alike from rogue professional traders, proposed legislation to do just this has made another leap towards becoming law.

The Consumer Law Reform Bill, which is the first extensive update to the current consumer law in over twenty years, has been opened for submissions.

This month saw the bill pass its first reading and is now being considered by the commerce select committee.

It will amend several acts including the Consumer Guarantees Act, Fair Trading Act and Carriage of Goods Act, making the bill a key element of the government’s 120-point Economic Development Plan.

One of the objectives the bill is trying to achieve is to put New Zealand and Australian consumer law on par with each other, which will in turn help achieve its aim of having a single economic market with our trans-Tasman neighbour.

The government has said the bill will get rid of any holes in lay-by agreements that have left buyers at risk of losing their own money or receiving products that are of poor-quality.

Under this new law, a written agreement will be required to clarify specific terms of lay-by sales, while giving buyers the ability to cancel without being penalised.

The new law would also see professional Trade Me users being thrown into the Consumer Guarantees Act bandwagon.

Casual one-off traders would not be subjected to this law however.

In addition to this, the bill would make couriers unable to avoid providing guarantees when dealing with customers, possibly increasing their cap on liability from $1500 to $2000.

Closing date for submissions will be on March 29.