Pay Attention to your receipts while doing Diwali shopping

17/10/2017 10:41

With just two days remaining before Diwali, the Consumer Council of Fiji is calling on consumers to be vigilant and pay particular attention to their receipts on purchases made. This will assist consumers in identifying whether they are being charged correct prices and levies or being overcharged by some unscrupulous traders.

The call comes in light of a recent complaint whereby a consumer who had purchased a large number of firecrackers was charged $0.16 for a plastic bag. The consumer came to know of this when he got his receipt and managed to browse it. He immediately raised concern on why $0.16 was charged whereas it should be $0.10. The trader informed the consumer that since the plastic bag was large in size, the cost of $0.16 was applied.

The Council would like to clear the fact that the plastic bag levy is only $0.10 irrespective of its size. Further, this levy is to be charged on plastic bags with handles only.

The Council understands that the rush period is on as consumers will be involved in last minute shopping. However, this does not mean that traders have an opportunity to dupe consumers by imposing wrong levies. Whilst this case has been highlighted, there may be many other consumers who must have fallen prey to the extra $0.06 charged on the use of the plastic bag.

In order to ensure immediate action is taken, the Council has notified the Fiji Revenue and Customs Services (FRCS) to look into the matter.

Alternatively, consumers are also urged to pay attention to product expiry dates, tampered packaging, improper labelling and price variance when shopping over the next few days.

Over the years the Council has noted deceptive practices by traders under the pretext of ‘Specials’. Consumers have been sold expired products with tampered expiry dates on marked down prices. Consumers have also faced different marked prices against the system prices reflected on receipts.

Often when consumers see products on specials they end up purchasing in large quantities. Do note some of these products are close to the expiry date and if it is not used in a timely manner, can result in waste of money.

This Diwali make safe and affordable choices by sticking within your budget.