The 2020 New Zealand Consumer Survey revealed people aged 18-26 are less likely to be aware of consumer protection laws. 

Every second year, the MInistry of Business, Innovation and Employment conducts a consumer survey to better understand consumer behaviours and public understanding around legislation.

The findings from the 2020 survey have been released, and it’s clear that young people have a lot to learn about the rights they hold as consumers.

The survey found that 64% of people aged 18-26 are more likely to know “nothing or a little bit” about their consumer rights.

The survey also found that around 1 in 2 people reported experiencing at least one problem with a product or service in the last two years.

It was also indicated that young people are less likely to know their consumer rights when shopping online, even though they make more online purchases. 

Mark Hollingsworth, National Manager of Consumer Protection at the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, says it’s important young people know their consumer rights, especially for online shopping. 

“While buying online can be convenient, resolving problems when they do arise is a little trickier,” says Mark. 

“We encourage young consumers to stay up to date with their rights online, including setting themselves up for safer shopping by implementing cyber security measures.”

Some things you may not know about consumer law…

  • You do not need to have the original packaging when returning faulty goods
  • Online stores are responsible for deliveries until they get to you
  • When you buy online from a business based in New Zealand and there’s a problem with a product or service, you can ask for it to be repaired, replaced or for a refund
  • Shops are not legally required to give you a refund or replacement if you have just changed your mind
  • The Consumer Guarantees Act does not cover commercial products, real estate and private sales (like TradeMe sales)
  • If you’re charged for a service where the price was not set beforehand, the cost should be reasonable

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