1. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that:
2. This policy relates to all the things we say and do about the promotion and sale of the services we supply to clients. This includes sales techniques as well as advertising and marketing using print materials, broadcast advertising, electronic advertising, verbal messages and other forms of promotion.
Clients come from a wide range of social, cultural and educational backgrounds. Because of this, we need to be clear about the things we say and in doing so we reduce the risk of clients misinterpreting our intentions or of our misleading them and therefore potentially breaching the Fair Trading Act.
The benefits for OneNet Limited having in place a Fair Trading Act policy and compliance programme include:having better informed staff and improved client service;
having better client relations;
enhancing our business culture; and
maintaining and enhancing our good reputation.
RULES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
All advertising and related activities will be truthful and only contain statements and visual representations which ensure an overall impression that:does not and is not likely to mislead or deceive clients;
does not make false and misleading representations; and
does not abuse the trust of the client or exploit their lack of experience or knowledge.
All staff with sales responsibilities must be informed of this policy and know how it applies to the work they do.
Managers are responsible for ensuring that their staff members with sales responsibilities are aware of all current promotions and advertising (representations) being made about the services that they provide.
All staff members are responsible for immediately notifying suspected breaches of this policy to Michael Snowden, Managing Director.
All staff members with sales responsibilities will receive regular Fair Trading Act compliance training. Records of training must be maintained.
Initial Fair Trading Act induction training will cover:awareness of this policy;
the responsibilities of staff and management relating to Fair Trading Act compliance and activities;
what is a false or misleading representation; and
what to do if a breach of this policy occurs.
OneNet Limited will operate a ‘rain check’ system for services requested that are unavailable but are subject of a current advertisement or advertising campaign at the time of request.
Michael Snowden will be responsible for the education and compliance activities associated with this policy and the Fair Trading Act.
All marketing decisions and strategies will be reviewed by management to ensure they meet the requirements of this policy.
Product managers (or others with product management responsibilities) are responsible for ensuring that all advertising is fit for purpose and checked for compliance with this policy before it is cleared for use.
An in-house system for checking and approving all publicity material against the requirements of this policy and the Fair Trading Act will be used by relevant staff.
The person who checks the material should have reasonable product knowledge about the services being promoted. The person who then approves the material must have the authority to approve advertising representations in OneNet Limited.
The Fair Trading Act complaints register will be used by OneNet Limited.
All Fair Trading Act complaints made by clients and competitors will be:recorded in a complaints register;
managed promptly to ensure any potential breaches are rectified immediately and suitable action(s) put in place to reduce the likelihood of reoccurrence; and
reported periodically to the Board.
Any mistakes in published advertising materials will be remedied immediately, including destroying or carefully altering the advertising materials and alerting clients to the error. As appropriate, managers will be assigned to handle any client complaints.
Out-of-date advertising materials will not be displayed or used in promotions.
BASICS ABOUT THE FAIR TRADING ACT
The following information covers the basics about the Fair Trading Act. The Act:prohibits people in trade from engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct generally;
prohibits certain types of false or misleading representations about goods or services (eg, false claims about skills, qualifications, success, test and survey results);
prohibits certain types of false or misleading representations or conduct in relation to land;
prohibits certain unfair trading practices (eg, bait advertising, offering gifts as part of a promotion with no intention of supplying them or misrepresenting the nature of the gift, using packaging that misrepresents the products inside);
provides for consumer information and product safety standards regulations and unsafe goods notices; and
prohibits misleading conduct in relation to employment offers.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs is responsible for administering the Fair Trading Act, including reporting to Government on the need for changes to the current law and other policy matters. The Minister also has the power to order compulsory recall of goods which fail to meet a product safety standard or which may cause injury.
The Commerce Commission is responsible for enforcing the Fair Trading Act. In taking action against a business that may have breached the Act, the Commerce Commission’s focus is not on whether OneNet Limited ever intended to deceive or mislead clients, but whether the things we have said and done are liable, or likely, to deceive or mislead clients.
DEFINITIONS AND EXAMPLES
Any form of communication made to the public or a section of the public for the purpose of promoting the supply of products or services or the sale of property. Examples include:
broadcast advertising. This can include television and radio advertising and infomercials;
electronic advertising. This can include website, text messages and email;
print materials. This can include product labelling, guarantees, pledges, mailers, flyers, newspapers, brochures, magazine and journal advertisements, billboards, point-of-sale and other display material; and
verbal messages. This can include sales pitches, promises and general product and service information provided verbally in person or by phone.
Complaints handling system
A client feedback system for collecting and recording complaints about our Fair Trading Act compliance activities. An effective complaints handling system enables us to properly manage each complaint and learn and improve on what we do.
To cause to believe what is false, to mislead as to a matter of fact, to lead into error; to delude, take in.
To lead astray in action or conduct, to lead into error, to cause to err.
A representation is any factual statement made about a product or service, either orally or in writing. A representation may also be an impression given by pictures, advertisements, promotional material or a sales pitch, by general conduct, including by keeping silent when critical information should be given. Representations can also be made in specifications and product descriptions, warranties and contracts.
For products, supply can include supply by gift, sale, exchanges, lease, hire or hire purchase.
For services, supply can include the providing or giving of a service.
Any trade, business, industry, profession, occupation, activity of commerce or undertaking relating to the supply or getting of products or services or land. Few undertakings, except one-off private transactions, escape the jurisdiction of the Fair Trading Act.
More information about the Fair Trading Act and achieving compliance with the Act can be obtained from the following sources:
The Fair Trading Act 1986 – www.legislation.govt.nz
Ministry of Consumer Affairs – www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz
Commerce Commission – www.comcom.govt.nz
The Advertising Standards Authority – www.asa.co.nz
This policy is authorised by:
Dr Michael Snowden,
Managing Director, OneNet Limited