There have been some interesting developments over the past week.
After all the talk about being upfront, honest and accountable, the NZSA seem to be doing the exact opposite!
Autowatch and Dynatron have both had their range of alarms/immobilisers removed from the NZSA website. So on face value, it would seem that they have lost their star rating.
The remarkable thing is that the NZSA don’t seem to have been bothered to inform anyone. I only found out by looking at the NZSA website.
So much for keeping its members up to date!
So are Autowatch and Dynatron insurance approved?
Well both Autowatch and Dynatron still meet with AS/NZS or Thatcham standards and on the NZSA website it clearly states that they accept both standards:
The NZSA recognise and accept the following international Standards:-
a. The joint Australian / New Zealand Standards
b. Thatcham Standards from the United Kingdom
Dynatron will no longer pay to be an NZSA Member
I took the liberty of phoning Dynatron to find out what was happening. Ron Campbell (Managing Director of Dynatron NZ) said that they were no longer a member of the NZSA as they have issues with the star rating system.
He also pointed out that other brands have changed their products without getting them re-tested, so there are some big question marks over their certification. Whilst Ron did not use a specific example I’m quite happy to point one out:
Remember last year when Mongoose made changes to the M60 and M80? I questioned the NZSA if the M60 and M80 still complied with the standards.
The representative from the NZSA who contacted me was none other than David Harley from Mongoose NZ who told me to drop the complaint! Talk about a conflict of interest and a major whitewash!!!
Regardless of the outcome, it was clear that Mongoose had made changes to the products, so why were they not re-tested? Or is it acceptable to keep the same model name and consider this to be a cunning loophole in the testing/compliance system?
Ron also pointed out that Dynatron has not made any changes to their products since gaining the relevant AS/NZS certificates, therefore he feels Dynatron have been playing by the rules whilst others seem to do as they please!
Is this fair?
The NZSA demand payment to have products which already meet the required standards “Star rated”! What mandate does the NZSA have to do this?
I have a huge amount of respect for Dynatron in taking this stand and point out that they are now in good company. Cobra NZ also refuses to support the NZSA even though they admit that the way the NZSA market the “Star rating system” is not good for their sales.
Autowatch held to Ransom!
I also spoke to Kishor (Managing Director of Autowatch NZ) who was not aware that his products had been removed from the NZSA website, even though he has just parted with $1,127.00 to the NZSA for Autowatch to keep their “Star rating”.
He felt that he had no choice but to pay up as not doing so would cause the public to doubt the insurance rating of Autowatch.
In other words, the NZSA can hold a distributor for ransom, with the knowledge that they can affect sales if they don’t pay up!
This poses a bigger question. Is this in breach of the Fair Trading Act?
Should I give up my membership?
The reason I joined the NZSA was to protect my customers in the event of an insurance claim. If the NZSA can’t even keep me informed on what systems are “Star rated” then what the hell do they offer me or my customers?
I often get asked to supply a “star rated alarm”. If the NZSA decide that an alarm is no longer star rated and fail to tell their members, then I’m put in a situation where I’m potentially selling an alarm under false pretences without even knowing about it.
Clearly, this is no fault of my own and it begs the question, “Why have I been trying to support and improve the NZSA when they have made it clear that it is simply a boys club for paying members“!?
The way I view things: The NZSA star rating system is not even worth the paper it is written on! In fact, it’s only really fit for one thing!