Truck shop Best Buys pleads guilty to 16 charges

The Commerce Commission brought charges against Best Buys and 10 other mobile traders, known as truck shops, in 2016. Photo / File
The Commerce Commission brought charges against Best Buys and 10 other mobile traders, known as truck shops, in 2016. Photo / File

Mobile retailer Best Buys Limited has pleaded guilty to sixteen charges relating to its door-to-door sales business.

The charges were brought by the Commerce Commission, which said 11 of the charges resulted from Best Buys' failure to disclosure information to its customers about its consumer credit contracts before they were entered into.

"Many of Best Buy's consumer credit contracts failed to disclose important information such as an accurate statement of the amount or number of payments needed, an accurate statement of the debtor's cancellation rights, and the right to apply for hardship relief," the commission said in a statement.

The other five charges related to a contract clause which was likely to mislead customers into thinking Best Buys had a right to repossess goods when it did not, the commission said.

Best Buys is a mobile trader that sells consumer goods including mobile phones, electronics, perfume, mowers and trampolines. Sales are often on credit, and at significantly higher prices than mainstream stores.

According to the commission, mobile traders are businesses that do not have fixed retail premises in the traditional sense. Some operate mobile shops, usually from trucks, while others employ sales staff who sell goods door-to-door using catalogues and brochures.

Mobile traders use a variety of sales techniques, including uninvited direct sales, parking mobile truck shops in prominent locations and using social media.

They sell predominantly or exclusively on credit, layby or other deferred payment terms.

The commission prosecuted 10 other mobile traders in 2016: Bestdeals 4 You Limited, Ace Marketing Limited, Smart Shop Limited, Goodring Company Limited, Betterlife Corporation Limited, Flexi Buy Limited, Macful International Limited, Zee Shop Limited and Sales Concepts Limited. One is yet to be named.

The commission said it also had 12 ongoing investigations into mobile traders.

Best Buys will be sentenced later this year.

- NZ Herald

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