Eforce opens, promising consumer power

The site that bills itself as New Zealand's first 'online buying community' has launched, preaching Internet consumer power.

The site that bills itself as New Zealand's first "online buying community" has launched, preaching Internet consumer power.

Eforce is a Web portal that aims to allow members save money on products and services through combining their bargaining power. Membership is free.

Although new members need to fill in a short online service, Eforce's published privacy policy repeatedly emphasises that the information will not be provided to any other party, and that it "does not tolerate" any use of customer email addresses from the site's members-only forums for use in unsolicited email.

The portal's first two services are PowerChoice, an online calculator that allows consumers to compare the rates of their current power company with other suppliers in their region, and SubscribeNow, which offers discounted subscription rates for more than 200 local and overseas magazine titles.

A third service, CoBuy, which allows members to suggests an item they wish to buy and name their price. If others also want the product, Eforce will seek a bulk price for the goods or services.

Eforce is publicly listed by virtue of Paynter Timber Group's purchase of all Eforce shares from Mark Fulton, which was mooted last year and confirmed by an extraordinary general meeting of Paynter shareholders last month.

Fulton became managing director and the company renamed itself Eforce. The company says a special limited share offer will be extended soon to Eforce members.

Fulton says Powerchoice, SubscribeNow and CoBuy are the first of many products and services.

"Eforce will launch at least six further products over the next six months. And this is just the beginning – Eforce’s products and services to members will continue to develop as members tell us what they want and as we talk with more local and international businesses to get the best deals for our members.

"In the last two months one thousand people have visited the Eforce Website to pre-register as members. These thousand, and everyone else, can now join as full members."

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