Truck shop interest encouraging poverty cycle

  • 28/08/2015
(Photo: 3 News)
(Photo: 3 News)

By Dianna Vezich

Almost 100 percent of mobile trading trucks around the country aren't complying with the law.

That's the finding of a Commerce Commission investigation into the industry.

The convenience of truck vendors is critical for a lot of their users. There is no need pay the money up-front like you do at the shops.

But an Auckland mum who wants to remain anonymous says she hasn't purchased off truck shops in a year and is still paying off debt.

"I owe $1300 on one truck, $360 on another."

Customers pay weekly or fortnightly payments but can take home goods straight away, and now a Commerce Commission investigation has found 31 out of 32 truck shops aren't complying with the law.

Home Direct is the only one out of those reviewed that's in the clear.

Anna Rawlings of the Commerce Commission says customers have been misled and lied to.

"There was information being provided to customers that was inaccurate, misleading and consumer credit documents didn't have the right info."

And prices were found to be high. For example, a Samsung Galaxy tablet is $979 from one truck shop; the same product sells for $598 at a mainstream retailer.

The Commerce Commission also found that the trucks seem to rely on repeat business. It says they approach existing customers who are close to paying off the amount they owe and then try to sell them more goods.

The commission says it'll be revisiting traders in question over the next nine months.

3 News