New Zealand Law Society - Standards authority dismisses Fair Go complaint

Standards authority dismisses Fair Go complaint

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A complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) was dismissed on the grounds that the content in a Fair Go episode was fair and accurate.

Fair Go investigated a complaint about automotive workshop, OTG Eastgate, (OTG) failing to inform a customer about a $10 weekend surcharge.

Fair Go sent an actor with a hidden camera to investigate this and other claims against OTG. This included footage of the owner, Danny Chand, OTG’s price board, excerpts of a phone call between the reporter and Mr Chand, and a recording from the reporter’s visit to OTG Eastgate. The programme was broadcast on TVNZ1 on 19 August 2019.

The camera footage showed a large pricing board at OTG Eastgate but did not display the surcharge. Mr Chand said there was a sign showing the surcharge, intentionally placed behind the counter to “get the customers’ full attention when explained and pointed out”.

Mr Chand complained to TVNZ that the programme breached the fairness, accuracy and programme information standards of the Free-to-Air Television Code of Broadcasting Practice. TVNZ rejected the complaint and maintained that the programme was fair and accurate.

The BSA considered that Mr Chand and OTG were dealt with fairly, particularly as Mr Chand was given a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment for the programme before broadcast. It did not consider any of the points raised by Mr Chand breached the accuracy standard, and it found the programme information standard did not apply to the broadcast.