Consumer Protection quarterly reports

Our Consumer Protection team report quarterly on New Zealand's consumer issues landscape.

About the series

The reports provide a snapshot of the potential issues that New Zealand consumers face.

They are one of the sources we use to help us understand the issues of greatest concern and identify opportunities to address them.

The reports are based on analysis of information collated through our Consumer Protection helpline and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

Summary of the Q3 report — January – March 2021/22

Key insights from this quarter

Enquiry volumes

8,300 consumer enquiries were received, an increase of 2% compared to previous quarter.

Top enquiry sectors/areas

  • Motor vehicles sales
  • Electronic goods and mobile phone
  • Personal products
  • Construction or trade services
  • Commercial goods and services

Notable changes

  • Total enquiries to the MBIE service centre increased by 2% this quarter and are 5% higher than the same period last year.
  • There were a mix of enquiry increases and decreases this quarter, with the largest decrease in the number of enquiries for ‘Non-Electrical household goods’ (down 38), while ‘Construction or Trade Services’ (up 30), ‘Motor vehicle Repairs’ (up 30).
  • The largest percentage decreases were ‘Mobile Telecommunication Services’ (down 92%).

The issues

  • Enquiries most frequently relate to potential breaches of the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA).
  • Faulty, damaged, doesn’t work as expected is the most common issue, noted in 51% of enquiries like last quarter.
  • Potential FTA breaches were most likely to be noted in enquiries related to ‘Legal/Accounting/Other Professional Services’ ‘Banking, credit, or finance’, ‘Entertainment’ and ‘Insurance’ this quarter’.
  • ‘Poor quality or poor workmanship’ was most likely to be noted in enquiries related to ‘Construction or trade services’ and ‘Motor vehicle repairs’.

Purchase method

  • The majority of enquiries to the MBIE service centre (80%) relate to purchases made through direct sales (either in person or over the phone).
  • Online purchases made up 13% of enquiries, lower than the previous quarter (20%).
  • Online was more frequently noted as a purchase method for ‘Entertainment’ and ‘Accommodation or travel services’ issues
  • Finance or layby was more frequently noted as a purchase method for ‘Motor vehicle sales’.

All reports

Last updated: 20 June 2022