Sunday, April 14, 2024

Caution advised over laybys and buy now, pay later

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Before you commit to any laybys or buy now, pay later schemes, understand what you are getting into. Photo Jill Wellington

BY PAKURANGA CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU

It’s the silly season and we tend to go overboard with the shopping.

Before you commit to any laybys or buy now, pay later schemes, understand what you are getting into.

Laybys

If you buy on layby, the Fair-Trading Act (FTA) provides you with certain protections and rules that traders must follow. You have the right to:

  • pay no more than the original set price of the product
  • have your products kept safely by the trader until you have fully paid them off, unless you don’t make payments
  • a written copy of the layby contract before you buy
  • a free statement of your account at any time
  • cancel the sale at any time before the final payment and get a refund — minus a reasonable cancellation fee.

The layby contract must be dated, legible and easy to understand. The front page must.

You can also ask for a free statement of your layby account at any time, which the retailer must provide within five working days.

Buy now, pay later sales

Schemes like Zip, After Pay and Layby can help smooth out your spending, so long as you don’t buy more than you can afford.

But it is a form of short-term debt. With no interest to pay, it can be a better alternative to high-interest options like credit cards or loans. Like all debt, there are risks.

You get the goods as soon as you make the first payment.

You may not be able to cancel the sale once you make the first payment.

Payments are locked in, usually weekly or fortnightly and may be automatically deducted from your account. If you miss a payment, default and late fees may be charged.

You can return faulty goods and get a repair, replacement or refund on your payments to date.

Shop sensibly & Stay safe!

  • This Solutions Column has been compiled by Vani and is a regular Times editorial from the Pakuranga Citizens Advice Bureau. Email enquiries.pakuranga@cab.org.nz or Visit us at the Library Building, Pakuranga, Phone 576 8331 and at Botany Citizens Advice Bureau, rear Food Court entrance, Botany Town Centre, Phone 271 5382 or 0800 367 222 for free, confidential and informative help. www.cab.org.nz

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