Trust & Safety Blog

Consumer Power!

Consumerman -purchase -woman

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment’s Consumer Protection team has launched a new campaign that will empower consumers to buy and transact with confidence.

Trade Me totally supports and welcomes consumer heroes, Consumer Man and Purchase Woman!

Take it away Consumer Protection:

‘Together, our caped crusaders will help deliver our public information programmes - guiding consumers to help and information: whether identifying that they have a consumer protection issue, equipping them with the information they need to take action, and assisting them to resolve common issues.

New Zealanders are often unaware of their consumer rights and don’t have the confidence or knowledge to know how to deal with problems.

The first campaign will inform on what to do when you bought a faulty product or service and how to buy safe online.’

By knowing your consumer rights you can manage tricky situations like:

Check out this introductory video from featuring Purchase Woman and Consumer Man!

This campaign is not a one off shot in the dark but a sustained programme to ensure that all New Zealand’s consumers, including Trade Me users, are fully able and armed to exercise their consumer rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act.

You’ll see Consumer Man and Purchase Woman featuring in print and digital ads and on social media with general messages about consumer awareness, as well as more targeted advice in specific areas like buying a motor vehicle, understanding the Consumer Guarantees Act and identifying frauds and scams.

10 online safety tips on Safer Internet Day 2017

tips to stay safe online

Do you remember the days of internet dial up when the modem would screech as it connected to your ISP and you would be ‘going online’?

20-odd years later, we’re now always online. Our phones send information about where we are, to goodness knows who, and our video game consoles check in with the ‘mothership’ every day.

Being more connected than ever means everyday New Zealanders are exposed to websites, apps and technology that exist solely to take advantage of us. Sophisticated online attacks on your money, data or identity are, frustratingly, becoming the norm.

To help promote Safer Internet Day, we were stoked to contribute to Netsafe’s ‘Stay Safe Online’ Reference Guide which features a whole bunch of tips and tricks to keep you and your family safe online.

Here are 10 of the best:

  1. On social media sites like Facebook, restrict public access to your profile and be careful accepting friend requests from people you don’t know.
  2. Make your passwords long and include phrases and a mix of letters and numerals. Use a different password for your accounts.
  3. Don’t share your passwords; even with ‘trusted’ friends.
  4. When your operating system seeks permission to update itself, let it. Software companies are often doing fixes to close off any loop-holes.
  5. If you feel like you’re being bullied online, Netsafe provides a service to get help with stopping abuse and harassment.
  6. If you ever need to use a public computer, make sure you log out of your accounts. You wouldn’t leave your purse in your drive way –always log out of your internet banking!
  7. If you’re making online shopping purchases, never send money overseas by instant money transfer services like Western Union.
  8. Ask yourself, who are you buying from? Are they reputable with an established history? Do they have good feedback?
  9. Be wary what you choose to post online. Do you want your mum to read it? Consider how other people may use what you post. Have you shared private details of another person?
  10. Keep up with what your young ones are doing online. Sites like YouTube and Facebook have settings for young folks to help shield them from adult content. 

Do not list your Lions Tickets on Trade Me!

The 2017 British and Irish Lions tour is looming.

From 3 June 2017, NZ will host 10 matches of glorious Rugby Union. This is one to look forward to, with the Lions playing NZ Super Rugby franchises for the first time.

Get excited.

Tickets are definitely going to be hot property for such a popular tour.

Just like the 2011 Rugby World Cup, this event is subject to the Major Events Management Act (MEMA).

This means Trade Me members intending to list tickets will be affected by the special rules that apply to the sale of tickets to the matches. To avoid ticket scalping concerns, the MEMA only allows for tickets to be sold at face value (i.e. their original sale price) or less, but not a dollar over.

While there may be genuine reasons for the sale of tickets, given the difficulty of policing sales and in order to comply with the MEMA, we’ve decided not to allow the sale of any tickets to any British and Irish Lions matches, even when offered at face value or less.

Any such tickets listed on Trade Me will be removed. 

This applies to all matches and venues. Thanks for your cooperation – and go NZ!

Roaches have feelings too – what’s the deal with cockroach bait?

Cockroach

I. Hate. Cockroaches.

I mean seriously, who hasn’t had that terrifying nightmare about a big, creepy cockroach crawling over their face in the night.

Shudder.

My nervous sweat is soaking into the keyboard even as I write this sentence.

And it gets worse, because cockroaches are pretty much invincible.

They can live for a month without food, can go without air for 45 minutes, and remain functional even when you cut off their heads!

I’m thinking that Superman’s new name should be cockroach… man.

But, like Superman, cockroaches have a weakness, and as you’d expect, the aptly named cockroach bait is made from some seriously potent stuff. Because of this, our mates at MPI have some strict requirements on importing it into New Zealand.

So how do you get your hands on cockroach kryptonite?

While it can be imported into New Zealand, cockroach bait (or more specifically, Advion cockroach bait) requires an importation permit from MPI, declaring that the correct process for importation has been followed.

Without a permit, bringing cockroach bait into New Zealand is a breach of the Biosecurity Act 1993.

Check out MPI’s page on importation for more information.

Why are we so worried about cockroach bait? Nobody likes cockroaches.

Cockroach bait contains a bunch of different chemicals. However, the one MPI is worried about sounds relatively germane: honey. The thing is, the honey hasn’t been treated sufficiently to reduce the risk of introducing exotic pathogens to our native bee population.

While cockroaches are gross, fighting them isn’t worth harming our bees. They do a lot of good for our environment, and truth be told, I don’t think I’d survive without honey on toast for breakfast.

Well I’ve got some Advion cockroach bait, can I sell it on Trade Me?

That’s a firm no from us. While cockroach bait can be imported legitimately, MPI is still investigating the potential harm it may cause to our environment.In other words, the jury is out on cockroach bait and we don’t want it on the site until we know more.

Prepare for the roach uprising!

Yeah, most people don’t want cockroaches around. I think if we’re honest with ourselves though, we’d realise that they don’t really cause that much harm. Maybe we should try living in harmony?

In any case, we reckon we’re blessed to live in a such an untouched, beautiful country and we all need to do our part to keep it that way. You never know, cockroaches might have feelings too.    

Consumers and motor vehicle dealers beware of this operator

Vintage -toy -car -with -driver

Warning for motor vehicle dealers

Our Trust & Safety team have received reports of an individual operating in the Auckland area who is claiming to be in the business of selling ex-Japanese imported vehicles.

In reality, we believe he is in the business of using legitimate motor vehicle traders and companies as fronts to conduct his activities.

We have received a number of reports from buyers who have paid this individual deposits for vehicles that have not been supplied.

Keep an eye out for anyone who approaches you or your business with a sales pitch along these lines:

  • Hey, I have access to Japanese imports – can you sell them for me?
  • I’ll give you a cut for any successful sales.
  • The vehicles are in transit to New Zealand, but I can give you all the photos and other information you need to advertise them for sale.
  • I’m happy to deal with the buyers for you.

This individual will also usually supply the same bank account number to receive payments.

If the account number ‘06 0193 0584419 002’ pops up for you at all, let us know.

Be cautious of any unexpected offers

If you’re approached in the above manner, take these steps to make sure everything is above board:

  • Ask questions and require proof – this individual will often use false names, or have others approach you on his behalf.
  • It’s your membership, so make sure you handle all communications with buyers yourself.
  • Never give this person access to your Trade me account.
  • Definitely make sure you are responsible for the flow of money.

Keep in mind

As professional dealers, you have obligations under the Motor Vehicle Sales Act and general consumer law.

You can’t afford to neglect doing your due diligence. You might think you’re just making a good deal, but if everything goes pots up, you will be left holding the can for any unresolved issues.

If you have any questions, or think you might have come into contact with this individual, please let us know right away. 

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