After a long day on the tractor getting the mowing finished before the cold sets in Freddy was sitting down to a roast beef dinner with Pebbles.
“How is the Tractor going Dad?” asked Pebbles
“It’s OK, but I need a new mower because the old one broke, you remember”, said Freddy
“Yes I remember”, smiles Pebbles, “Mowers tend to brake when you mow over the gravel driveway Dad. How is the new mower running?”
“I thought I had pulled it up!” exclaimed Freddy. “Anyway, I had to borrow Joe’s because the company who was delivering the new mower did it while I was down at the Run Off, so they put it by the shed, and when I looked at it, the mower had been damaged. I called the company but they said I had ‘accepted’ the mower when it was delivered.”
“Have you checked the contract you signed when you brought the mower?” asked Pebbles
“It is around here somewhere” answered Freddy “why would I need to look at that for. You know those contracts are never written in favour of the little guy.”
“You should find it because there have been recent changes to the Fair Trading Act which means that unfair ‘fine print’ in contracts can be declared illegal. The Commerce Commission now have the ability to apply to the Court in order to challenge standard form contracts if they are unreasonable and create a significant imbalance between companies and consumer rights,” explained Pebbles.
“How will that help me!” Freddy exclaimed “those agreements are all the same aren’t they? Surely those contracts are well protected in the first place!”
“I wouldn’t be so sure” said Pebbles “All contracts are different you should contact the Commerce Commission about the contract if you think it is unreasonable or unfair. I have been looking at the changes to the Fair Trading Act and I’m sure there will be plenty of consumer contracts that will be in breach of the new requirements. The new law covers all standard consumer contracts including phone contracts, rental car contracts and gym contracts but does not cover insurance contracts.”
“Gym contracts!” said Freddy “lucky I am as fit as a fiddle isn’t it Pebbles.”
“You sure are”, smiled Pebbles “Ice Cream for dessert again Dad?”
“Don’t mind if I do”, said Freddy.
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