Ahead of the Easter holidays, the Commerce Commission is reminding businesses if they apply a surcharge it needs to be clearly disclosed to consumers.
Commissioner Anna Rawlings said surcharges were sometimes applied to recover additional costs such as staff wages, as employees get a higher pay rate when working a public holiday under the Holidays Act.
She said it was the responsibility of the companies to clearly and accurately inform consumers there was a surcharge.
"It is important consumers are made aware of a business's intention to add a surcharge upfront so they can make a decision about whether they are prepared to pay it or buy elsewhere," Rawlings said.
"Businesses that are planning to add a surcharge this Easter need to alert potential customers to it, such as by using a prominently placed sign outside the café or at the bar counter."
Rawlings said businesses also needed to be careful not to mislead customers about the reasons for the surcharge.
"For example, a business must not claim it is applying a surcharge on Easter Sunday because it is a public holiday," she said.
"This would be inaccurate because the only public holidays over the Easter weekend are Good Friday and Easter Monday."
All businesses trading this Easter weekend should make sure they are complying with the Fair Trading Act and not misleading customers.
Rawlings said consumers who felt they had been misled could contact the commission.