Companies should get better warranty for Fiji Consumers

18/05/2017 10:38

The Consumer Council is calling on the Hire Purchase (HP) companies in Fiji to clarify their stance on why they do not provide manufacturer’s warranty to consumers upon their purchase.

While the Council has been inundated with complaints regarding warranty coverage on items in the past, it has recently received a complaint where the overseas manufacturer of the product clearly marked 2 year warranty period on the boxed item. However, the local trader only provided 6 months warranty to the consumer.

The consumer had purchased a Ryobi Generator from a prominent HP company and on the packaging of the item it was visibly marked that it was on 2 years warranty. However, when the consumer was given his purchase invoice, it stated only 6 months warranty on the generator. 

Upon lodging his complaint with the Council, enquiry was made with the company. In their response the Customer Care Manager stated that the 2 year warranty was only applicable to consumers if they purchased the product directly from Australia or New Zealand for their own use. Since they are a trade customer, upon purchasing at wholesale rate for resale purposes, the 2-year warranty period did not apply.

Such explanation is hard to digest particularly when manufacturer’s warranty simply means the manufacturers assurance on the quality or standard of a good they make.

The Council, however wishes to know why the HP Company did not negotiate or raise concerns regarding this discriminatory practice. It seems there is no objection from Fiji companies when overseas manufacturer sets the terms and condition which is discriminatory in nature where consumers of Pacific Island markets are not given the same treatment. Surely, HP companies can get a better deal in fairness to the consumers in Fiji.

In the past, the Council wrote to Fisher and Paykel to consider giving 2-year warranty rather than one to consumers who bought Fisher and Paykel fridges in Fiji. It was through Council’s intervention that Fisher and Paykel decided to give 2-year warranty to Fiji consumers.

The Council will not only write to the manufacturer of Ryobi Generator but also hopes that local companies should not be party to a discriminatory practices being used by the multinational companies in the Pacific region.