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Another NZ online retailer caught misleading shoppers

Online gift-box retailer Occasion Box has been issued a warning by the Commerce Commission for making false and unsubstantiated claims misleading online shoppers.

Between May and December last year, the website used “sales pops” – a pop-up notification of fake purchases made by fictional consumers in various locations around Aotearoa, New Zealand.

The links to products sold were worded to say that it was a “verified purchase” on the website.

The commission said such notifications create a false sense of demand and popularity of goods on the website and reflect a type of misleading conduct.

Vanessa Horne, GM of fair trading, said Kiwi consumers are increasingly shopping online and rely on claims made by businesses on their websites.

“In many cases, consumers cannot establish for themselves if these claims are accurate.

“Businesses marketing their products in new ways to reach more consumers and generate additional sales still need to understand their obligations under the Fair Trading Act so that they don’t mislead their consumers.”

Horne said the warning serves as a “reminder” to businesses that they understand and comply with their obligations under the Fair Trading Act.

Earlier this month, the commission fined online deals site 1-Day, $840,000 for misleading consumers on promotional claims on its online store.

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