Council applauds action taken against unscrupulous traders

25/10/2017 15:33

The Consumer Council of Fiji applauds enforcement agencies for the successful convictions of unscrupulous traders for their unethical business practices.

 Justice has been served for the conviction of the Singh’s Curry House in Suva, New World Supermarket and MH Hypermarket in the Western Division. This will now act as a precedent to other businesses who do not comply with laws.

 Conviction was for the non-issuance of the proper tax invoice as required under Regulation 3 of the Value Added Tax Act 1991 and for selling non-price control items at a price different to what was displayed on the shelves.

 These are common issues consumers generally experience while shopping. We had found traders making excuses such as “the cash register was not updated” or “there was a misprint on the display price”, and other lame excuses. 

 Now that the enforcement agencies are enforcing the laws by taking the matter to court, I urge consumers to support these agencies by lodging their complaints with evidence. We have cases where consumers call our consumer helpline number 155 to lodge complaints where there were mismatch between the displayed price and what was shown on the receipt. With only receipt as an evidence does not prove that the shelf price was different. In many cases the consumer discusses the issue of overcharging with the cashier and they immediately change the shelf price. So when the Council conducts the investigation, there is no evidence to prove that display price was different to what was reflected on the receipt.

 Consumers are urged to take photos of false advertisements or prices of goods at the shelves if they find they are being over charged when cashing out. This is to compliment the receipt and provide the Council with substantial evidence to take action against that particular trader.

 Consumers should be vigilant when shopping this festive season. For any consumers related complaints they can call the toll free number, 155 or visit our offices in Suva, Lautoka and Labasa if they find they are being victims of unethical business practices.