Council warns consumers on Premier Rechargeable Emergency Lamp

26/01/2007 14:46

The Consumer Council of Fiji is gravely concerned about the quality and safety standards of some of the electrical products sold in the country. The concern comes as one consumer who bought the Premier rechargeable emergency lamp nearly had her house burnt down due to the melting inwards of the product. The rechargeable lamp provides no information at all to consumers such as on the country or place of manufacture, no warranties or guarantees and no installation instructions.

The label on the rechargeable emergency lamp is completely misleading the consumers. It is guised as a Philips brand product, which is a renowned brand name amongst many consumers. This product is a Premier brand under the guise of Philips brand name. It is obviously intending to attract consumers who have confidence in Philips brand products to purchase the lamp. The Consumer Council findings on the Premier rechargeable emergency lamp led it to a container load of the product waiting to be sold to consumers.     

The Council sympathises with consumers in Fiji who have to put up with such sub-standard products. Consumers in Fiji are forced to accept faulty weights, adulterated foods, useless guarantees, exorbitant prices, poor back up services and a host of other ills. It is ironic that Fiji goes to great lengths to conform to product standards of exporting countries that ensures the protection of their consumers. The Council asks then why Fiji is not doing enough to protect its own consumers when importing products. Where are Fiji’s safety and quality standards and who is responsible for the monitoring and testing of the products that enter Fiji’s markets. It is apparent that a huge gap currently exists for monitoring and testing of the safety of various electrical products entering Fiji markets, and we should not allow this to continue. The Department of Trade Standards and Quality Control must ensure that all electrical product importation into the country comply with the country’s existing standards and quality requirements.

The problem with many of the electrical products sold in Fiji is that there are no mandatory requirements relating to quality and safety standards. As other countries in the region adopt minimum standards, Fiji risks being left behind to become a dumping ground for inefficient, inferior quality and questionable appliances. These products compromise the safety of its users and their properties as they become prone to electrical faults and a fire risk.

The Council is strongly urging consumers who have purchased the Premier rechargeable emergency lamp and have had problems with the product to come forward to the Council and lodge their complaint. The Council will then consider taking an appropriate action such as recalling the product if the problem exists with a number of consumers. Meanwhile consumers are strongly advised to be vigilant when purchasing electrical products.

Consumers should check for necessary information such as the place of manufacture, warranty or guarantee offers, availability of spare parts, installation instructions and more importantly its handling and safety requirements. All information on the label should preferably be in English language. If consumers come across any electrical product that provides no necessary information to consumers, they should contact the Consumer Council or the Department of Trade standards and Quality Control.