Media Releases

More NZ businesses agree to end ‘opt out’ pricing

30 July 2015

The Commerce Commission has welcomed the decisions of House of Travel and Nakedbus to end the use of additional ‘opt out’ charges when selling tickets to customers online.

In March, the Commission called for all New Zealand businesses to end the practice of pre-selecting optional extra services during online sales. The Commission is concerned that the practice may mislead consumers about the price of what they are buying and potentially cause them to purchase something they did not intend to buy.

Air New Zealand was the first company to change as a result of the Commission investigating its practice of ‘opt out’ selling for travel insurance. Nakedbus agreed to end their use of pre-selected baggage, text alerts and travel protection insurance charges this month after coming under new management. House of Travel changed its approach to selling travel insurance on its own initiative.

All three companies now use an ‘opt in’ sales approach, which allows consumers to make their own decision and avoids any possibility of breaching the Fair Trading Act.

Commission Chair Dr Mark Berry said it was pleasing to see businesses reacting positively and making changes that remove the risk of consumers being misled.

“Consumers can make up their own minds on what they want to buy, so it is great that these companies have engaged with us and each made the decision to improve the transparency of their pricing practices,” Dr Berry said.

“There is no valid reason to pre-select charges for consumers so we strongly encourage the remaining businesses employing this practice to put an end to it."

The Commission’s investigations into Jetstar, Dash Tickets and Ticket Direct are ongoing and no further comment can be made on those cases at this time.    

Read the previous media release noting the Commission’s intent to target ‘opt out’ pricing.