Fair Go: World of trouble for woman who bought TV from KiwiOwn door-to-door sales company

Buying a new TV is something hundreds of New Zealanders do every day.

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The telly ended by being delivered to the wrong house, and that’s just the beginning of the problems. Source: Fair Go

But whether you go into a store, buy online or sign up through a door-to-door salesman, you’re still going to have to get it delivered somehow.

It might seem like a simple part of the equation – but it was the part that brought Lorraine Dixon to Fair Go, after her TV was delivered to the wrong house.

Ms Dickson signed up for a 55" television through KiwiOwn, a home-shopping network of door-knocking salesmen that also work under the name U-Buy.

"My TV is quite old and has a red line running through it… so yes, we needed a new TV!" she says.

Lorraine knew it would cost more than going into a store, but it allowed her to make weekly payments towards the TV before it was delivered.

Partway through her payments, Ms Dickson shifted house and rang the company to tell them her new address.

But months later, when she would have expected the TV to arrive, she was still waiting.

"I rung up and the person that answered the phone says 'no you’ve got your TV and it was delivered on the 4th of March' and I said 'well where was it delivered? It’s not here, I ain’t signed for anything'".

Turns out the TV had been delivered – to her old address.

After multiple phone calls, Ms Dickson was told she’d still have to pay off the outstanding balance on the account – even though she didn’t have the TV.

"As far as they were concerned, it got delivered and I signed for it."

When she asked for copies of her account statements, to find out what the company was asking for, KiwiOwn said it would send them – but it never did.

"Yeah I told them their company sucks and she said 'thank you for that feedback Lorraine'".

So, Ms Dickson came to Fair Go.

KiwiOwn was warned by the Commerce Commission in 2017 that it had likely breached the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act, for failing to provide customers with the required disclosure information.

It was also warned about likely breaches of the Fair Trading and Consumer Guarantees acts too.

And when Fair Go contacted the company, it also had trouble with disclosure, KiwiOwn ignored multiple requests to provide statements of Lorraine’s account.

However, it did agree to refund Lorraine’s account for the payments she’d made towards the TV so far. It said an investigation showed it had a "coding error" that hadn’t updated Lorraine’s address.

Lorraine’s delighted to finally have her money back – and she’s vowing next time, she’ll buy a TV from her local, bricks and mortar, store.