Youi to plead guilty to misleading customers

Youi to plead guilty to misleading customers

The Commerce Commission has filed 15 charges against insurance company Youi, which plans to plead guilty to them all.

The commission says Youi "employed misleading sales techniques" in order to sell policies to customers who only wanted a quote.

The charges relate to breaches of the Fair Trading Act between July 2014 and February 2016, where the commission alleges Youi made false or misleading representations about consumers' ability to obtain a quote online.

It also alleges the insurers made misleading statements during sales calls with consumers, made them supply bank or credit card details to get a policy quote, and demanded payment or debited bank accounts without express permission from the consumer.

The commission also alleges the company sent invoices to consumers in relation to unsolicited insurance policies that failed to specify that they could opt out of paying for the policies.

New Zealand's regulatory agency says Youi has cooperated fully with its investigation, and has told the commission it will plead guilty to the charges.

Youi chief executive Danie Matthee acknowledged that while the complaints were valid, none of the "transgressions" were made within the company's standard operating procedures. Youi instead blame the "actions of employees or processes" for the charges they now face.

The company has since made changes to its website content and disclosures in an attempt to "improve clarity, compliance and alignment with customer expectations".

Mr Matthee said Youi also moved quickly to take "appropriate remedial actions" to resolve the complaints it faced.

"From the point the issues were brought to our attention we cooperated fully with the commission and speedily implemented changes to our business practices that had fallen short of customer expectations, service standards and legal requirements," he explained.

"We unreservedly apologised to all affected customers."

The home, contents and vehicle insurer was founded in June 2013.


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