Feature Articles 2021

24/09/2021 09:39:35 Managing Household Cash flow

The following article is part of Consumer Council of Fiji’s (CCoF) Project Financial Resilient Fijians (Project FRF) which is being implemented through partnership with United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF) Pacific Insurance and Climate Adaptation Programme (PICAP). The project aims to help Fijian consumers become more financially resilient in the face of natural perils.

24/09/2021 09:34:05 The First Step: Shared Family Vision

The following article is part of Consumer Council of Fiji’s (CCoF) Project Financial Resilient Fijians (Project FRF) which being implemented through partnership with United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF) Pacific Insurance and Climate Adaptation Programme (PICAP). The project aims to help Fijian consumers become more financially resilient in the face of natural perils.

24/09/2021 09:28:16 Be wary of Markdown Prices

Reducing prices of products relatively garners more interest from consumers. Each year, businesses employ different tactics or strategies that ensure more units of a product is sold to boost revenue. These can include discount sales, benefit promotions, and markdown pricing to name a few. In a research paper titled: “Effects of Price Discounts on Consumers, Perceptions of Savings and Quality”; researchers Jung Lee and Jessie Chen-Yu, describe that there is a correlation between the price of a product and its perceived quality. When prices are high, consumers perceive that the quality of the product is high. So, when these prices are reduced, consumers will jump on the chance to purchase products that are perceived to be of good quality and at a relatively cheaper price.

24/09/2021 09:21:24 Talk before you take

Medication plays an important role in managing diseases, but it can also be quite harmful if taken incorrectly. For this reason, you must be a responsible consumer when taking medications. The fact that you are purchasing and/or consuming medication makes you a consumer and as a consumer you have certain responsibilities before purchasing or consuming any product, let alone medication. The responsibility of critical awareness; getting information and facts about products – is paramount in such situations. For instance, it is not enough to know that you take a blue capsule and a yellow tablet twice a day – there is a plethora of information which must be evaluated before even deciding to take medication. However, due to the overabundance of information on the internet, many countries are now facing the issue of consumers becoming ‘google doctors’ and self-medicating without consulting a doctor.

24/09/2021 09:16:19 Exclusionary clauses in the Digital Market Space

The COVID-19 crisis has led to significant shift in the retail of goods and services from brick-and-mortar stores to online stores. Hence most businesses are transforming their business processes and utilising digital platforms to advertise and retail their products. In addition to the digital apps and websites specially dedicated to offer products and services online, many businesses are also utilizing social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to market, receive orders and payments for their products.

24/09/2021 09:04:23 Understanding Quotations

In this modern day and age, consumers all over the world are actively becoming more knowledgeable on consumers issues; asserting their rights in the market place. Many consumers now also employ simple yet effective tactics in order to ensure that they make informed and the best decisions when shopping. One such method which has gained traction around the world as well as Fiji is comparative shopping. The Consumer Council of Fiji (CCoF), through multiple mediums, have also continuously advocated about such tactful strategies which can save consumers hundreds or even thousands of their coffers. Comparative shopping entails comparing different options before a transaction is made and is a very important method for both consumers and companies when seeking the best deals around. A very common and effective means of conducting comparative shopping – especially when buying expensive items, is through obtaining quotes from businesses.

24/09/2021 08:59:59 Food Safety and COVID-19

With the fast-rising cases of COVID-19 in Fiji, most consumers are doing all they can to protect themselves and their loved ones from this deadly virus. Whether it be wearing face masks, regularly washing and sanitizing their hands or ensuring that they remain in their bubbles – a concerted effort is being seen among most Fijian consumers. Understandably, many people are concerned about how to keep themselves and their families safe and are well informed about how the virus is transmitted. Yet, misinformation about how COVID-19 is spread through food mediums has led to confusion and concern among consumers internationally. This has even compelled the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to issue consumer advisory on food safety in the current environment in their effort to help address some of the misinformation and confusion. In this week’s edition, let’s look at some of the advisory and tips which are being recommended to consumers.

24/09/2021 08:52:56 The Voice of Fijian Consumers

This special edition by the Consumer Council of Fiji highlights the common queries which are raised by consumers and advise given to them. This is in line with the Council’s efforts to foster solidarity and create confidence in consumers to freely raise issues with the Council.

24/09/2021 08:48:35 Implication of Consumers’ Purchasing Decisions on Health

Most Fijians are currently staying indoors to minimize exposure and comply with COVID safe measures as recommended by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. While we stay indoors, there is great temptation to eat snacks high in sodium, junk food and low-quality meals that provide instant gratification for taste buds rather than nutrient-dense whole foods. In addition to this, today, there is a potential for a more sedentary lifestyle that is packed with activities like watching television for longer periods, sitting and reading for hours or spending more time in front of the computer or on our smart phones. Just few months back, our lifestyles were very different and involved many physical activities like workouts, moving around shopping for groceries and spending time with family by doing activities such as picnics.

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.

Feature Articles 2021 20-40 »