Cases that Broke the Bank
Truck shop nes approach $1.6 million
In the biggest fine so far handed down against a mobile trader, Mobile Shop Limited (Mobile Shop) has been fined $330,000 for breaches of consumer laws.
The sentence brings the total fines handed down in 13 Commerce Commission prosecutions of mobile traders to $1.56 million.
Auckland-based Mobile Shop pleaded guilty to 24 charges, 12 under the Fair Trading Act and 12 under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act. It was also ordered to pay $10,800 in statutory damages to about 50 debtors.
Mobile Shop failed to provide key contract information to borrowers before they signed the contract, failed to ensure contract information was expressed clearly and concisely, and made false or misleading statements about consumers’ rights.
The offending covered more than 5,000 contracts entered into between October 2015 and September 2016, with an estimated total value of more than $1 million.
In August 2015 the Commerce Commission launched its Mobile Trader 2014/2015 report, which identified 32 mobile trader companies operating across New Zealand.
Mobile Shop is the 13th trader to be sentenced since the release of the Commission’s 2015 Mobile Trader report.
Restaurants ned $70,000 for multiple employment law breaches
A Christchurch company operating two Japanese restaurants has been penalised $70,000 by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) after the Labour Inspectorate found them ignoring employment law.
The director of Japan Power, which trades as Samurai Bowl, Masakazu Takeuchi, said he did not agree with New Zealand employment law, and ran his business “how it is in Japan”.
“These were significant breaches of employment standards done by an employer who failed to follow New Zealand law, and as a result left his employees out of pocket,” says Labour Inspectorate regional manager Jeanie Borsboom.
Anyone concerned about their employment situation, or the situation of someone they know, should call 0800 20 90 20 where they can report their concerns in a safe environment.
Budget Loans fined $720,000 for repossession tactics
Finance companies Budget Loans Limited and Evolution Finance Limited (together Budget Loans) have been fined $720,000 in the Auckland District Court, on 125 charges under the Fair Trading Act.
They were also ordered to pay a total of $53,000 emotional harm reparations to nine victims, and approximately $38,000 in refunds and credits to borrowers.
Over six years from 2009 till 2014 Budget Loans misrepresented its right to repossess goods, and recover interest and costs from borrowers. It also misrepresented amounts borrowers were required to pay under attachment orders and made misrepresentations about the benefits of refinancing existing loans.