It goes without saying that your satisfaction is really important to us. We want you to feel fairly treated and well served. We've developed our Customer Charter to help us achieve this goal.
We believe in being responsible when lending to our customers.
- Ensure all marketing material is clear, transparent and complies with all legislative requirements.
- Ensure product pricing is comparable and competitive against other companies in our sector.
- Carry out an assessment of affordability in order to establish that customers can afford to repay the loan or product in a sustainable manner throughout the term of the agreement, including completing a full income and expenditure check before purchase.
- Encourage customers to consider whether, their loan or hire purchase is the best option for them.
- Provide a detailed assessment to validate the application, residency and income status.
- Cap all new customer loan and product repayments to 25% of disposable income.
- Provide the customer with a clear explanation of the terms of the agreement and also explain their rights and obligations under the agreement.
- Provide multiple payment methods that best suit, to include; weekly or monthly direct debit and Automatic payments.
- We will never ask you to complete more than one direct debit or automatic payment form.
- Visit or contact the customer on a regular basis to assess their current circumstances; monitoring any change in financial or personal circumstances and offer assistance where necessary.
- Allow customers up to seven days to withdraw from the agreement without the need to give a reason and without charge.
We believe in helping customers during difficult times and unforeseen hardship.
- Never charge late fees as we believe that late fees further exacerbate any arrears position.
- Treat all customers who fall into arrears with empathy and respect. Offering a number of options to assist customers including alternative payment schedules, reduced and or partial payments when required for a temporary period or permanent period.
- Direct all customers requiring assistance to free organizations that can help, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau or their local budget advisors where more appropriate.
- Shall deal promptly and fairly with any complaints that the customer may have and will inform customers of their right to contact the Financial Services Complaints Limited FSCL (an independent dispute resolution scheme) if the complaint has not been resolved to their satisfaction.
- Be sensitive to any physical and mental health problems customers may have. We understand that any given situation may be unique and will be handled with empathy, care and respect.
- Have appropriately trained employees who will respond accordingly, particularly when dealing with complaints and arrears management.
We believe in being open, honest and transparent with all our customers.
- For personal loans all set up charges will be included in the APR including: the cost of arranging the loan, the cost of collection and the guarantee of no late penalty fee charges.
- For all products include the manufacturer, the cash price, the weekly price and when purchased on credit, the initial unpaid balance, the terms of the agreement and the representative APR (if any)
- In accordance with legislation, issue statements detailing payments, outstanding balances and costs for any additional optional warranty and insurances.
- Provide ad-hoc statements outside the annual cycle, on request and free of charge.
- Respect personal information supplied to the company by customers and observe a strict duty of confidentiality about their personal financial affairs and shall not disclose any such details to any third party, except where we have your consent or are required to by law.
Important - Unforeseen Financial Hardship
If you are in financial difficulty it is important that you don’t ignore the problem. If you’re having problems meeting your repayments or think that you may experience difficulty doing so in the near future, contact us on 06 876 3535 to see if we can help. If you leave it too long you may not be eligible to qualify.
You are able to apply for financial assistance if you experience unforeseen problems such as:
- loss of employment
- the end of a relationship
- natural disaster
- other reasonable cause
You must reasonably expect that a change to your lending agreement would enable you to meet your obligations going forward and not put you in further hardship. We will consider this as part of your application.
Once an application has been made in writing, we will go through the details you have given, and get in touch with any questions for additional information that we may need. We will also write and let you know the outcome of your application.
Please note that there are limits on when and how often you can make a financial hardship application.
How we can help
Some of the things we may be able to offer are:
- An extension of the loan term
- A postponement of repayments for a specified period
- Extension of both the loan term and postponement of repayments for a specified period.
At buy4less we have specialists that will take the time to listen and understand your situation. Information we will need to know to assess your application includes:
- How your circumstances have changed
- What changes you expect in your circumstances, when and for how long
- What steps you could take to address this situation yourself (e.g. do you have an insurance policy which you could make a claim against?)
- Your current financial position is
If you’ve got questions about this process, you can find out more in our frequently asked questions section.
Apply for financial assistance due to unforeseen hardship
You can apply for financial assistance for unforeseen hardship online using our customer contact section or writing to us at buy4less limited 325 Heretaunga Street West, Hastings, Hawkes Bay. It is important you include contact details and other required information.
Hardship - Frequently asked questions
We’ve answered some common questions you might have about the Unforeseen Financial Hardship process. If you don’t find the answer here, call us between 9am and 5.00pm on 06 876 3535, Monday to Friday.
How long am I able to receive assistance for?
This will depend on the solution offered, if any. For example, whether the term of your loan is extended, and/or you are offered a repayment holiday for a fixed period of time.
What type of assistance is available?
Assistance is determined on a case by case basis and could include reduced repayments and/or term extension.
This means that you may be able to pay back your loan over a longer period (which would reduce your monthly payments, but increase the overall cost). You may also be allowed to pay reduced payments or just the interest payments for a period (which would reduce your monthly payments, but increase the overall cost).
Is there anything that I can do?
There are many options available to you before completing an application with us. We’ve included some options below for consideration:
- If you’ve lost your job and have income insurance cover, get in touch with your insurance provider to see if you’re covered for loss of income.
- Obtain independent, free debt advice from organisations such as NZ Federation of Family Budgeting Services, and Citizens Advice Bureau etc. You can find a budget advisory service in your region here.
- Contact us if you are having problems making payments or think that you may soon experience financial problems.
- Keep to any payment plan you have agreed to. If your circumstances change that may affect your payment arrangement, let us know. Please be aware that if your loan is secured and you don’t keep up with your repayments, we may enter into possession of, and/or sell the secured property. You will remain personally liable for any shortfall.
- Make sure you keep anyone guaranteeing the loan(s) up to date with what is happening.
What happens when I apply for hardship?
Once we have received your application, we will acknowledge receipt of this in writing within five working days.
What supporting documents do I need?
Applications are assessed on a case by case basis and we may require further information and/or documentation to be able to complete our assessment, for example:
- WINZ documents
- medical information
- proof of income and expenditure
Will I still receive collection calls and correspondence from buy4less whilst my application is being processed?
Collection notices and phone calls will continue until your application is accepted. It is important that, where possible, you maintain your repayments to avoid the risk of escalating debt and any additional interest or charges being incurred.
Can someone else negotiate on my behalf?
Yes. If you provide your consent, we can discuss and negotiate a solution with your nominated representative, such as a budget advisor or other third party.
What happens if my application for Financial Hardship is declined or I am not happy with the outcome?
Once your application has been assessed, we will advise you of the outcome in writing. If your application has been declined, we will also provide the reason for this in writing.
Please note that even if your application does not meet the eligibility criteria for an unforeseen hardship application under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003, we may be able to offer other assistance on a case-by-case basis.
You also have the right to apply to the court to make changes if you have made a Financial Hardship application and you do not agree with the outcome.
How long will it take to decide my Financial Hardship application?
We will try to let you know the outcome of your application as soon as we are able, but no later than 20 working days after we receive a valid Financial Hardship application from you, provided we do not need any further information from you.
Sometimes, we may require further information from you to assist us to consider your application. If we do, we will request this further information within 10 working days from the date we received your application. In this case, we will try to let you know the outcome of your application as soon as we are able, but no later than:
- 10 working days after receiving the further information requested; or
- 20 working days after making the request for further information,
Whichever is the later.