While hardware materials such as timber, louver frames and nails are readily available in the market for purchase, it is crucial that consumers raise questions about their quality.
Have you paid a substantial amount of money for a product only to discover that the same is cheaper at another store? You may have felt cheated by the store for having to pay a higher price.
Consumers become the judge when it comes to selecting a restaurant, its services and the food provided at these eateries. A consumer’s verdict on whether a restaurant is good or bad spreads quickly when many consumers depend on word of mouth suggestions on restaurants by their families and friends. If a consumer has a bad experience at a restaurant, it is highly likely that he/she will not recommend the same to another consumer.
Auto mechanics are the subject of discussion when it comes to buying or repairing motor vehicles. Most consumers lack the expertise or are cost- conscious whilst choosing garages. Some end up with unqualified mechanics or backyard garages that promise value for money but are unable to provide satisfactory services.
There is a possibility that you may have not tampered with your FEA meter but you have been issued with a letter claiming that you have an overdue amount for a faulty meter.
MANY consumers are now investing in personal property such as land. Land has become a much sought after household asset and a boom in land development especially for residential lots has been noticeable in the last five years.
As an island nation, fishing is a major source of income for many people in Fiji. Sea transportation is also one of the major means of travelling from one island to another. Many villagers use punts or canoes daily just to cross rivers and streams to reach the mainland. The lives of these people cannot be risked by some unscrupulous traders wanting to make quick and easy money.
When it comes to engaging the services of electrical companies or electricians, there are consumers who often place costs before quality thus compromising their safety
If you ask your builder, relatives, friends or your parents who built houses some years ago, they will tell you how good the quality of materials in those days were. In fact old houses have stood the test against wear and tear.
Under this policy, commercial banks were to charge credit card holders a 2% levy on their monthly outstanding balance inclusive of interest and bank charges. The levy was then remitted to the Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority (FRCA) by the banks.
The inter island shipping and the ferry business is a multimillion dollar industry which provides its services right around the country. And like everything else in this day and age, this particular industry has become part of consumer’s lives.
Bogus and dubious travel agencies/immigration agencies remains under the Council’s radar as unsuspecting consumers are continually being cheated of their hard earned cash.
Consumers must take precaution before engaging the services of any travel agencies/immigration agencies who claim to successfully provide visas for skilled/employment migration. This call comes after the Council continues to receive complaints against fraudulent travel agencies that usurp thousands of dollars from consumers.
Owning a car is a luxury that consumers who have saved their earned money can afford. However, not all consumers can afford to buy brand new flashy cars and so go for cheaper second-hand vehicles.
The Council is concerned that passengers are losing their valuables whilst travelling overseas. This year, the Council received 3 formal complaints from passengers who travelled in different flights from Nadi to Brisbane on 2nd and 4th March 2013 and lost their jewelries.
In October last year, the Consumer Council of Fiji started its “Switch and Save” campaign which encourages consumers to use energy saver light bulbs in order to reduce their electricity bills and also help ease the energy demand. The campaign will officially be launched on 8th January, 2013 at the Council.
Shop around and avoid buying all children’s education items at one shop, unless it means a lower shopping bill than buying from different outlets. While retailers may use promotions to encourage one-stop-shopping, it is advisable for parents to compare prices of individual items. Our book price survey in the past has shown, price differences can be as high as $5 for one item, thus it would be better to visit several outlets and note down prices before making a purchase. While this exercise may be time-consuming and require some walking, parents will be able to have less pressure on their back-to-school budgets.
Feature articles written by the Council to Fiji Times & Fiji Sun from October - December, 2011.