The Fair Trading Act 2008 makes it illegal for traders to mislead consumers, give them false information, or use unfair trading practices.

The Act applies to advertising and selling of goods and services by traders.

The Act applies to services, new and second-hand goods, auction and commercial sales. But it doesn’t cover private sales, for example, buying something off your neighbor, or at a garage sale.

What are your rights under the Fair Trading Act?

  • Misleading Behavior

A trader is misleading you if they lead you to think something is true when it isn’t.

Example of misleading behavior:

  • An advertisement says a jumper is made from angora wool, when it is only 10% angora, 90% synthetic.
  • A shop which sells new TV’s sells you a TV without telling you it is second hand.
  • False Information

A trader is giving you false information if they give you wrong information about the goods or services, or about your legal rights.

Example of false information:

  • The price is different than was advertised or on the sticker price.
  • A product labelled “Made in Cook Islands” was actually made somewhere else.
  • A trader tells you that the store doesn’t give refunds under any conditions.
  • Unfair Trading Practices

A trader is using an unfair trading practice if they use one of these methods:

  • Offering prizes without any intention of giving out a prize, or the prize is different to what was advertised.
  • Advertising an item really cheaply to get people into the store, but only having a very small number to sell so that people who come to the store miss out on it.
  • Pyramid selling schemes-a selling scheme where more of the money comes from joining more people up to the scheme, rather than from sales.

This is not intended as legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a lawyer who can advise you of your rights and the best way of enforcing them.

For further information, please contact us:

P.O Box 98, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

T: (+682) 29370 E: [email protected]