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Fair Go: Wednesday October 3

Published: 7:41PM Wednesday October 03, 2012 Source: Fair Go

Big trouble for Ezybuy
Reporter: Gordon Harcourt
Bad news is mounting up for Ezy Buy Car Auctions, the car we say conducts "sham" tenders, quoting the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal.

A likely law change will kill the legal trick they use to avoid the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA).

The Consumer Affairs Minister Simon Bridges has weighed in with his concerns.

And the Commerce Commission is now investigating.

Meanwhile Ezybuy is taking a struggling family to court. The Isaakas from Manurewa bought a car in February. It lasted ONE DAY before there were serious problems. They took Ezybuy to the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal and won. It's the most damning decision of several against Ezybuy so far. Ezybuy is appealing the ruling to the District Court. That means they can ignore the orders to refund the Isaakas, pay damages, take over their $6000 loan and refund payments, and take the car away.

Ezybuy has every legal right to appeal, but we think it just drags out the Isaakas' suffering.

We think a likely change in consumer law is the biggest problem for Ezybuy. Currently tenders aren't covered by the CGA. Simon Bridges says that will change when the law passes - probably by the end of the year.

Ezybuy insists its tender is fair and legal. And boss Alan McCarrison now says he will front up on Fair Go, after refusing to be interviewed for weeks.

The Isaakas have been paying their loan for eight months, but we arranged some very good news for them.

Desperate Flatmates
Reporter: Ali Mau
18 year old Sophie has spent the past four months living a nightmare. The Wellington flat she rented in June looked great when she moved in - fresh paint and new carpet - but within weeks the flat and all her belongings were covered in mould.

Two separate building reports show the weatherboard house, which is divided into four flats, has significant weather tightness issues, but the battle over who's to blame for the mould has taken Sophie all the way to the Tenancy Tribunal.

We have advice from the Government's Building and Housing Group, on what the Residential Tenancy Act says about these kinds of issues, and how to protect yourself when signing up for rental accommodation.
To view the video click here:

Food dates - what do they mean?
Reporter: Hannah Wallis
Two of our Auckland viewers had found food being sold past its expiry date - a can of fish and some dietary supplements - and wondered if it was legal to do that?
Expiry dates on food these days are likely to be on imports, since some years ago they were replaced by "best before" and "use-by dates".
Use-by dates are about safety. They're found on products like ready-to-eat meats and seafood - items that won't be cooked, so it's essential that they're safely eaten before the stated date. If you find food being sold beyond use-by date, alert the Food Safety Authority, which can issue fines of between $3000 and $100,000 under the Food Act.
Best-before dates are about food quality. If a product is being sold after the stated date you could complain under the Consumer Guarantees Act about the food quality, look, texture or taste. A complaint about the canned fish would come under this category.
Canned, bottled and preserved foods with a shelf life of 2 years aren't required to have a date stamp but often do - and these products can often last up to 5-10 years or more.
But be careful of any can that's bulging - that's the sign of something nasty going on inside and you need to biff it.
Finally, dietary supplements will either be treated similarly to best-before foods under the CGA or, depending on the ingredients, may be deemed a medicine and complaints should be made to Medsafe.

The Food Safety Authority's website  has a lot of useful information on food safety, food preparation and food storage.

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