It is not illegal for businesses to increase their prices. However, the Fair Trading Act (FTA) prohibits misleading and deceptive conduct and false representations. This means if you give a reason for a price increase it must be true, otherwise you risk breaching the law.
Many sectors are facing a very difficult time, but customers need to be confident that prices are fair and equitable. If you decide to increase your prices for the products or services you provide:
- Let your customers know beforehand.
- Be clear about the reason for the price increase.
- Remember you cannot mislead customers about the reasons or you risk breaching the FTA.
More guidance is available about how to sell, advertise and talk about products and services under the Fair Trading Act.
While businesses are free to set their own prices, there has been some public concern about price increases on essential goods and services at this time. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is encouraging business to be transparent about any increases, and is interested in hearing from consumers via Price Watch with any concerns.