28 Oct 2014

Complex contracts confuse consumers

8:22 pm on 28 October 2014

Too many people get into trouble because they do not understand the contracts they have signed, an agency set up to handle complaints about financial services says.

The number of consumer complaints to Financial Service Complaints has almost doubled from last year, reaching 3159 for the 12 months to the end of June.

Agency chief executive Susan Taylor said people got into trouble with money lenders and insurance companies because they did not read and understand the conditions in their contract.

"Having said that, loan contracts are not easy documents to read and some of the ones we've seen, frankly even lawyers I think would struggle to understand some of the fine print in those contracts."

Ms Taylor said the most significant problems included consumer credit and travel insurance, which accounted for 20 percent of the agency's investigations.