Consumers misled to pay extra

10/11/2017 15:53

Supermarkets must ensure that their systems are in sync with the prices of items they advertise being on ‘special’.

The call comes in light of a recent complaint where a consumer purchased loose Crest Chicken drumsticks from a prominent supermarket in the Central Division, which were marked on special price of $8.95 kg. However, when he took the package to the cashier, the system picked up the actual price of the item which was $10.95 kg.

In a similar case from the same supermarket, a consumer purchased 1kg lamb neck on a special price of $9.45. However, at the cashier, the item was charged $9.95 instead.

A clarification from the supermarket on the above issue proved that there was indeed a technical glitch in the supermarket’s cash system, hence, the consumers were being overcharged. After the Council’s intervention, the supermarket apologized for their mistake and refunded the consumers.

This is a clear case of misleading advertisement. Such deceptive conducts by traders are unethical and unacceptable. Consumers work out a budget and carry enough money to purchase the items based on the advertised prices.

Traders are reminded that false and misleading advertisements are illegal and contrary to the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission Act 2010.

Traders are warned to comply with the national laws and not to take advantage of the vulnerable consumers.

Consumers are advised to call on the Council’s National Consumer Helpline toll free number 155, to lodge their complaints if they have encountered misleading advertisements.