No Harvey Norman no, again!
Reporter: Gordon Harcourt
We asked you to send us complaints about electrical gadgets and poor customer service. Blimey, we won't do that again in a hurry - it was a deluge.
We feel the worst complaint we got was about Harvey Norman, again. This time it's New Plymouth.
Maureen Ansell bought a laptop last year - her first computer. She had a few problems.
There are FIVE repair jobs logged in Harvey Norman's system, and Maureen says she's taken the damn thing back at least EIGHT times, probably more.
No refund. No replacement. No apology.
So what happens once Fair Go is involved?
Your rights under the CGA
The Consumer Guarantees Act is clear. The supplier (that's the shop, the retailer) must be given a chance to remedy the fault, unless it's of a "substantial character".
The Consumer Affairs Ministry told us that retailers can't insist you repeatedly bring something back for repair.
They can't fob you off onto the manufacturer - the law is very clear that the supplier must remedy the fault.
They can't refuse to refund you in cash, and offer you goods to the same value.
They may be breaching the Fair Trading Act if they do try either of the above.
If you want your refund or replacement, you need to reject the goods in writing.
Sample rejection letter
We've written a sample rejection letter for you. If you've got some faulty goods, fill in the blanks. Good luck!
Heat pump headache
Reporter: Hannah Wallis
Lisa and Michael Ledgerwood bought a Daewoo heat pump two years ago from their local Mega Mitre 10 - it ran a little warm air, but mostly cold. They couldn't get it fixed and were paying huge power bills. Auckland-based company Energy Efficient Solutions discovered the problem was most likely a gas leak, which if left untreated can ruin the whole unit. Local Wanganui company Whiteout Building installed a new heat pump which is working really well. Daewoo have apologised, said it shouldn't have taken so long to diagnose and fix the problem, and have offered the couple a refund of the heat pump and money towards the power bill.
One of the main gripes not covered in our story is about heat
pumps switching off when it gets really cold. That's because the
outside unit is defrosting - so stops producing heat - and this
only happens when the air temperature is approaching freezing. If
you live in an area which has below-zero temps, this shouldn't
Consumer has just done a major survey of heat pumps - including a very good explanation of the reasons pumps de-frost. They say the worst you can do is turn up the heat pump - that only adds to the icing-up of the outside unit. Drop the temperature instead say, to 18, and maybe turn it on early to give it a chance to get up to temp.
We suggest also checking out the EECA Energywise website for a list of registered or accredited installers in your area, and tips on how to claim back your insulation rebate of up to $1300, and your heat pump rebate of $500.
Reporter : Libby Middlebrook
Olivia and Max Hansen have been delivering newspapers and pamphlets around Waiuku for the past three years.
Their employer, PMP Distribution, announced a few weeks ago that it was about to sharply reduce pay rates, after re-zoning the area from rural to suburban.
There was no negotiation, no consultation.
PMP Distribution says on its website that it employs 6000 contractors around the country. Many of those are children.
But the company failed to front up and answer questions on Fair Go.