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Consumer rights & money

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Layby sales

Buy now, pay later sales

What is buy now, pay later?

Buy now, pay later is a payment method that lets you buy an item and pay after receiving it, without any interest added to the amount you owe. It’s different from a layby sale because you get the item as soon as you make the first payment.

Usually, at the time of the sale, you would pay for a percentage of the item, and the buy now, pay later scheme would pay the store the remaining cost. You would pay the buy now, pay later scheme, the rest of the cost of the item in instalments. These companies make money from their charges to the retailers.

Since you’ve legally bought the goods, you can’t cancel the sale once you have made that first payment. Payments are not flexible like laybys, instead they will be locked in, weekly or fortnightly and may be automatically deducted from your account.If you miss a payment, penalties will usually apply. You are within your rights to return faulty goods and get a refund of your payments to date, or you could ask for a replacement or repair.

Consumer laws protect laybys but not buy now, pay later sales.

What fees will I be charged?

Some examples of buy now, pay later schemes are Afterpay, Humm, PartPay and Laybuy.com. You have to sign up to use these services and some conditions apply, such as being 18 years or over.

While there are no interest charges, the catch is that if you miss a payment, default fees are charged. The fee is the same regardless of the cost of the item, and there may be further fees for amounts that aren’t paid within seven days.

Below is a table comparing the different types of buy now, pay later schemes, and the different charges that apply.


Maximum limit

Repayments details’

Late fees



Depends on your repayment history

4 equal payments due fortnightly





10 weekly instalments


Humm (big things)



Up to 24 months to pay fortnightly


Humm (little things)



5 equal payments due fortnightly or weekly in 10




Depends on your repayment history

6 weekly automatic payments



Interest free for 3 months from purchase then charged interest at 19.9%


Monthly- minimum payment of $40 or 3% of your balance owing- whichever is greater





4 equal payments due fortnightly


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Consumer protection

Where to go for more support

Community Law


Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal advice and information.

Consumer Protection


Consumer Protection helpline: 0508 426 678 (0508 4 CONSUMER)

Email: cpinfo@mbie.govt.nz

The Consumer Protection website has useful information on a range of consumer topics. Consumer Protection is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE).



Phone: 0800 345 123

FinCap can help you with budgeting information online or on the phone. They may also suggest a local budgeting service to help you with debt and other budgeting issues.

Consumer NZ


The Consumer NZ website provides a wide range of information on consumer issues and template letters you can use to write to traders to enforce your rights. You can also order “Do Not Knock” stickers to deter uninvited door to door knockers on their website.

Citizens Advice Bureau


Phone: 0800 FOR CAB (0800 367 222)

Citizens Advice Bureaux have volunteers trained in consumer law who can provide you with information and advice about consumer problems.

Commerce Commission


Phone: 0800 943 600

Email: contact@comcom.govt.nz

The Commerce Commission enforces the laws against misleading and deceptive conduct by traders (the Fair Trading Act) and the consumer credit legislation (the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act). The Commission provides information on these areas on its website.

Consumer rights in another language


This site by the Commerce Commission has information about typical situations consumers find themselves in, in five different languages.

Product Recalls


This site lets you know which products have been “recalled” due to safety issues or product defects. You can generally return a recalled product to the place where you bought it to be repaired or replaced.

Motor Vehicle Traders Register


Phone: 0508 MOTOR TRADERS (0508 668 678)

Check to see if a motor vehicle trader is registered.

Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal


Phone: 0800 268 787

The Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal deals with disputes of amounts up to $100,000. It can be more if both parties agree in writing.

Personal Properties Securities Register (PPSR)


Search the PPSR register to see if there is any security interest registered against a vehicle. This can be done for a small fee by registering to check online

Proceedings in the District Courts

The Ministry of Justice website has information about making or responding to a claim in the District Courts. See: www.justice.govt.nz and search “claims to civil court”.

Buying a car privately

YouthLaw has produced a video on buying a car privately.
See: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK8irFAn1as

New Zealand Police


Check to make sure a car that you’re considering buying hasn’t been listed with the police as stolen.

Dispute resolution schemes

There are four dispute resolution schemes for consumers dealing with lenders and other credit providers.

Financial Services Complaints Limited – www.fscl.org.nz

Phone: 0800 347 257

Email: info@fscl.org.nz

Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman
Phone: 0800 888 202

Email: info@ifso.nz

Banking Ombudsman – www.bankomb.org.nz
0800 805 950

Email: help@bankomb.org.nz

Financial Dispute Resolution – www.fdrs.org.nz
0508 337 337

Email: enquiries@fdrs.org.nz

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