Countdown, New World and Kogan Australia top list of most complained about companies in New Zealand

  • 07/03/2024

Supermarket giants are among the most complained about companies in 2023, according to new data from the Commerce Commission.  

The Commerce Commission received over 12,000 complaints or "enquiries" in 2023, up about 2500 on the year prior according to figures obtained by 1News under the Official Information Act

Complaints have risen to a five-year high and common themes include promotions, refunds and pricing inaccuracies.  

The commission stressed that just because a complaint or enquiry was received, it doesn't mean a business has done something wrong.  

Countdown (Progressive Enterprises) topped the list with 402 enquiries, while New World (Foodstuffs) was third with 266 enquiries. Kogan Australia, the company behind the Dick Smith website was second most complained about with 270 enquiries.  

One New Zealand (formerly Vodafone), Air New Zealand, Pak'n Save, Hello Fresh, Two Degrees, Spark and Sky TV round out the top ten. 

The Commerce Commission acknowledged that companies with higher profiles would naturally garner more enquiries.

"The enquiries data only reflects what consumers have chosen to report to the commission or other organisations that have in turn provided information to the commission," a spokesperson told 1News. 

Companies respond

A spokesperson for Countdown/Woolworths told 1News it was clearly disappointing to top the list.

"As we transform to Woolworths New Zealand, we remain focused on our long-term commitment – delivering New Zealand's best supermarket experiences for our customers and team".

Meanwhile, a Foodstuffs spokesperson said the ratio of enquiries was "low" compared to the number of customers served.

In a brief response, Kogan Australia said it was voluntarily working with the Commerce Commission to assist with the enquiries.

All complaints or enquiries to the Commerce Commission are entered into a database.

The Commerce Commission said those enquiries assist them to better understand where to focus their activity and resources – identifying what they should investigate.