New Zealand Law Society - PB Tech charged over extended warranties and warned about bait advertising

PB Tech charged over extended warranties and warned about bait advertising

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PB Technologies Ltd – known as PB Tech - has pleaded guilty to 14 charges brought by the Commerce Commission for failings in its extended warranty agreements.

PB Tech is a computing and IT retailer with 11 superstores and service centres nationwide.

The Commission says the Fair Trading Act charges have been filed in the Auckland District Court. They relate to extended warranty agreements sold to consumers and businesses that purchased PB Tech products between 11 May 2017 and 30 November 2017.

Businesses must give customers information about benefits provided by the extended warranty in addition to benefits already provided by the Consumer Guarantees Act. This information helps customers to decide whether they need an extended warranty and whether the benefits it provides are worth the price they are being asked to pay.

The charges alleged that PB Tech failed to give its customers a summary comparing their existing Consumer Guarantees Act rights with the rights provided by the extended warranty. Customers were also not given a copy of the extended warranty agreement after paying for it and not informed of their cancellation rights before signing up to the extended warranty.

Sentencing will take place in September.

Following the same investigation, the Commission also warned PB Tech for bait advertising after it promoted Apple watches at special sale prices in an email to about 100,000 people when it only had 14 available at those prices.

The Commission says the qualifying statement ‘strictly limited stock’ was not displayed near the Apple watch advertising and in these circumstances, customers were not adequately alerted to the limitations of the 2016 Cyber Monday sale.