If they won't tell you how they get paid or how much, it could be sign that you should walk away.
That's the advice from investment watch-dog the Financial Markets Authority for those about to deal with a financial service provider.
The FMA has today released a series of pointers on how consumers should deal with the sector which includes KiwiSaver providers, financial advisers, fund managers, brokers, crowd funders and peer to peer lenders.
The move comes after the regulator finalised licensing the sector in December last year.
Paul Gregory, director of investor capability, said it wanted to encourage people to do as much research on dealing with financial firms as they did when it came to going on holiday or buying a new television.
"We can go after bad conduct but it is much better if customers know what they need to be told."
The FMA has come up with five areas they want consumers to be more savvy about and ask questions on.
Those areas include competence, being treated fairly and honestly, being informed, knowing how much you are paying and having problems and complaints dealt with properly.
But Gregory says it's not just the answers to the questions people should pay attention to but the attitude the financial provider takes to being asked.
"Are they trying to brush you off?"
"Or are they saying they are not required by legislation to give it to you."
Gregory said people should pay attention to their gut feelings and if anything doesn't sound right be prepared to walk away.
"For us that is a lot better result than something going wrong and us having to respond afterwards."
Gregory said consumers should think about what they want or need before having a conversation with a financial service provider and then question whether the answers related to that need as opposed to it being something sold to them.
They should also make sure the person has the right experience behind them, he said.
"Ask can you do this and can you do a good job?"
Gregory said a person's attitude, their materials, website and call centre could all help to contribute to a sense of whether the organisation was focused on a consumer's needs or their wallet.
He said consumers should also be wary of someone trying to offer a discount on another product to entice a sign-up or purchase and any pressure to act quickly.
"It's not like it has got a use by date like a banana."
He also urged people to ask what would happen if something went wrong and to make a complaint to the company if they were not happy.
If a resolution can not be reached between the customer and the company people also have a right to go to a dispute resolution service.
Gregory said consumers could also complain to the FMA.
"We have a high appetite for hearing about issues," he said.
The FMA has put together an animation to help people get their heads around the five areas they should expect.
Five areas to watch
2. Being treated fairly and honestly.
3. Being informed.
4. Knowing how much you are paying.
5. Having problems and complaints dealt with properly.