Commerce Commission v Best Buy Ltd [2017] NZDC 13575

Published 09 October 2017

Sentencing — failure to disclose in consumer credit contracts — failure to provide key information — mobile trader — truck shop — Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003. ss 17 and 32. The defendant company was a mobile trading company that sold products on credit to people in vulnerable financial circumstances. The charges related to the contracts used by the defendant. The defendant was sentenced on 11 representative charges of failing to disclose key information contained in Schedule 1 of the Act; and five representative charges concerning disclosure of information not to be likely to deceive or mislead the reasonable person. The defendant used two contracts during the time of the offending. The contracts failed to state key information including the defendant company's registration number, an accurate statement of the number of payments required and due date of the first payment, and the right of the debtor to cancel the contract. The court accepted that the aggravating features included the widespread and systematic failures, the high degree of negligence, the number of victims impacted, and the vulnerability of those victims. Discounts were given for the defendant company being impacted by the publicity around the offending, and for the entry of an early guilty plea. The defendant company was fined $82,362.50, and ordered to refund $37,180.00 to debtors who had been overcharged. Judgment Date: 6 July 2017.