Feature Articles 2021

26/08/2021 10:20:52 Flattening the Infodemic curve

26/05/2021 The following article by the Consumer Council of Fiji has been authored solely to create awareness and educate Fijian consumers on the importance of obtaining information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic only from official sources and not through the infamous coconut wireless. The article draws upon advisories and publications by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Spinoff New Zealand.

26/08/2021 09:56:21 Debt management during a pandemic

20/05/2021 At the current time, with unending lockdowns and conditional lockdowns, many consumers are facing financial distress. With these financial hardships, one of the major concerns of many is their existing debts such as home loans, car loans and other commitments with financial institutions. Such debts can become unmanageable if the necessary steps are not taken to meet repayment obligations. The Council understands that the lives of those trapped in unmanageable debt are swamped with stress and coupled with emotional distress. Often, the toughest step towards financial freedom is to muster the courage to ask for help. Everyone faces financial challenges at some point in their lives and many are uncomfortable talking about their debts. The Consumer Council of Fiji stands ready to assist anyone who seeks assistance through its Debt Management and Credit Advisory arm and assures consumers all cases will be dealt with utmost confidentiality.

26/08/2021 09:45:40 Cancellation of Events and Services Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak

13/05/2021 As we have seen in 2020 and again recently, COVID-19 has and continues to upend our lives, disrupting plans that would have already been set. These plans, whether social or cultural have taken a back seat with the virus forcing all to retreat into their bubbles and practice more stringent hygiene measures to protect those we love and those around us.

26/08/2021 09:40:40 Consumers Role in Battling COVID-19

29/04/2021 On 19 April 2021, the Fijian Government announced the first case of locally transmitted COVID-19 case in over a year which led to the lockdown of the greater Nadi and Lautoka areas. Subsequent announcements made by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services saw the lockdown of other areas; including Lami, Suva and Nausori areas. Due to the detection of the virus in vast geographical locations, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services had labelled the whole of Viti Levu as possibly ‘exposed’.

26/08/2021 09:30:14 Buying a car though private sale

23/04/2021 Purchasing a vehicle can be an expensive affair, especially when liaising with dealerships. Sometimes, to avoid hefty costs associated with dealerships, some consumers opt for private vehicle sales that they believe will be good value for their money. While the idea of getting a vehicle for a lesser value may seem alluring, it can also come with its disadvantages if thorough research is not conducted. If consumers do their homework and have some mechanical knowledge about cars, they are in a better position to buy privately and will be able to determine which car is correctly valued. Private vehicle sales in Fiji is riddled with many issues. The Council has received several complaints pertaining to private vehicle sales.

26/08/2021 09:23:29 Practicing caution against online scams

12/04/2021 In today’s time and age, it can become impossible to determine how genuine businesses are. The global proliferation of the internet has allowed con artists to expand their craft to a widely different market and reach previously untapped consumers. Many times, their creative marketing often results in consumers being duped out of their hard-earned cash with little to no possibility of redress. Such fly-by-night traders have become more common in Fiji with a growing number of individuals purporting to be business proprietors on social media targeting vulnerable consumers.

26/08/2021 09:17:25 Travelling in Public Transports

01/04/2021 Fiji’s transport sector has been instrumental with its ability to connect people and facilitate trade. In 2019, the sector contributed close to eight per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), making it one of the most important sectors in the country. Majority of Fiji’s population heavily relies on public transportation as means of travel across the country. These services exist to provide travel options for all and are usually provided at the lowest possible cost, consistent with service quality and safety standards.

20/08/2021 11:04:10 Pyramid Schemes are Fraud

25/03/21 The following is special feature from the Consumer Council of Fiji in a bid to educate and create awareness on pyramid schemes. Many Fijian consumers may be unfamiliar with what pyramid schemes are, how they work, how to recognise them and why people/you should be extremely wary of being recruited to join one. While these schemes may be relatively new to Fiji, they are already a popular means used internationally to fleece/swindle money from unsuspecting consumers.

03/03/2021 08:48:31 Tackling Plastic Pollution: When You Can’t Reuse It, Refuse It

Over the years, consumers have become over-reliant on single-use and disposable plastic products. Whether it be using plastic plates, forks and spoons for a family get-together or rushing off to work and buying food or snacks on the go, we fail to realize that majority of the plastics were are surrounded by, cannot often be reused.

03/03/2021 08:42:11 Recycling plastic waste

RECYCLING is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. There are three main types of recycling. These are primary, secondary, and tertiary.

11/02/2021 11:11:59 Reusing plastic waste

This article is part of the Consumer Council of Fiji’s World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) Campaign themed “Eliminating our plastic print”. The 2021 WCRD campaign will focus on 7Rs: Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair and Replace. This 7-week campaign aims to help influence consumers to re-evaluate their consumption habits to minimise plastic use, refuse unnecessary plastic where possible and demand more sustainable alternatives from businesses and governments. This week the Council is focusing on how consumers and businesses can REUSE plastic and its associated products to combat plastic pollution.

03/02/2021 10:21:58 Reducing plastic waste

This article is part of the Consumer Council of Fiji’s World Consumer Rights Day Campaign themed “Eliminating our plastic footprint”. The 2021 WCRD campaign will focus on 7Rs: Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair and Replace. This 7-week campaign aims to help influence consumers to re-evaluate their consumption habits to minimise plastic use, refuse unnecessary plastic where possible and demand more sustainable alternatives from businesses and governments.

21/01/2021 14:21:30 Practice caution during auction sales

Used cars, antiques, real estate and other products are often sold at auctions where consumers bid for items. It is a process where products or real estate are offered for sale by an auctioneer on behalf of a vendor.

18/01/2021 09:01:47 Exclusive Dealings

With school set to begin next week, many families will be rushing to make last minute purchases for school items. With this hype in the market, certain retailers may opt to unscrupulous business practices in order to profiteer at the expense of consumers.

12/01/2021 15:59:11 Back to school shopping

With the start of the 2021 school year looming for most, parents are scrambling on all fronts to prepare their children for a new school year. At this time, everything is still up in the air as many navigate their way around the devastation suffered due to Tropical Cyclone Yasa.