TV Shop facing legal action from Commerce Commission for allegedly misleading consumers

  • 01/03/2023
Thirteen charges have been filed.
Thirteen charges have been filed. Photo credit: TV Shop/Facebook

The TV Shop is being taken to court by the Commerce Commission for allegedly misleading consumers.

This is the third time in eight years the commission has brought court proceedings against the TV Shop, which describes itself as the no.1 direct response television marketer in New Zealand and Australia.

A Commerce Commission statement said it had filed 13 charges related to marketing and promotional practices.

The commission alleges the TV Shop breached the Fair Trading Act by:

  • Misleading consumers about the popularity of goods when staff members posted reviews on various online review platforms about products without disclosing their affiliation to the business and removed some low-rating reviews on its own website
  • the commission alleges consumers were misled about remedies available to them if something went wrong with their products by implying to consumers that they did not have any other rights to refunds or remedies outside of its own "30-day money back guarantee scheme" or "risk-free trial" when consumers wanted to return products because they believed they were faulty. In fact, consumers may have had rights and remedies available to them under the Consumer Guarantees Act
  • misleading consumers about the nature of products sold when it advertised promotion(s) for its Air Roaster Pro, offering an accessory pack variously as "free" or a "bonus" and on a "special offer" when the Air Roaster Pro was never offered for sale without the accessory pack, and the product was sold as a "special offer" continuously between 2018 and 2021.

Last year, the commission also took the TV Shop to court for "failing to comply with extended warranty disclosure requirements" and was fined $123,500. The business was also slapped with a $153,000 fine in 2015 for falsely saying a ladder it was selling had certification.

The commission said it was now up to the court to determine whether the TV Shop breached the Fair Trading Act.

"Consumers are entitled to take information provided by retailers at face value whether that information relates to pricing, the nature of the products on offer, consumer rights or the endorsement or experiences of other consumers. These issues go to the heart of the Fair Trading Act and the commission's compliance and enforcement work," commission fair trading general manager Vanessa Horne said.

"Businesses should check they have compliant reviews processes and policies, training processes in place regarding rights to refunds or remedies, and compliant promotional practices."

The TV Shop has been contacted for comment.