Press Releases 2010

08/07/2010 10:16:33 Consumers cheated by retailers with defective scales

Some unscrupulous and irresponsible retailers are cheating consumers and not giving them value for the money, by using defective scales. The Consumer Council in the past two weeks received two complaints from the Nasinu area on underweight bread and incorrectly measured kerosene.

01/07/2010 16:13:49 Consumers seek explanation from Connect for poor service delivery

Once again, customers of internet service provider (ISP) Connect are calling for answers and honest information from the company regarding two-weeks of on-going poor service delivery and customer care. Connect had informed its customers on 17th June, 2010 that it was carrying out “major system upgrades commencing from Friday 18 June, 2010 – Sunday 20 June 2010” and it “will ensure that there is minimal or no disruptions to internet services.”

01/07/2010 16:04:09 Consumers continue to suffer from Pacific Sun’s inconsiderate decisions

Consumers in Fiji continue to suffer from inconsiderate and thoughtless decisions of Pacific Sun and what is of more concern to the Consumer Council of Fiji is that nothing is being done to stop the domestic carrier from dictating the terms of domestic air travel.

30/06/2010 16:24:08 Council empowers people with disabilities on their consumer rights

The Consumer Council of Fiji in partnership with the Fiji Disabled Peoples Association (FDPA) is holding a half- day workshop to empower people with disabilities on their consumer rights. The workshop, “Empowering People with Disabilities on their Consumer Rights” was held today at the FDPA Headquarters at 3 Brown Street from 9am and was attended by members from 9 FDPA affiliates.

30/06/2010 11:39:43 Council lauds code for advertising

The Consumer Council of Fiji welcomes the General Code of Practice for Advertisements and Code for Advertising to Children in the Media Industry Development Decree 2010 as this will help curb misleading and deceptive advertising which has been a persistent problem for the Council for years. Council has on many occasions called for some sort of regulations for advertisements because of the numerous complaints it has been receiving on deceptive and misleading advertisements.

24/06/2010 16:08:12 Tourists put off by increased costs of domestic air travel

The Consumer Council of Fiji has received complaints from disgruntled tourists on Pacific Sun’s baggage policy which is costing them extra dollars. Some tourists have paid $145 to $400 extra for their baggage which they deemed excessive and unfair. In April 2010, Pacific Sun revised its baggage policy for connecting flights which not only affects Air Pacific passengers but also passengers using other airlines such as Jet Star, Air New Zealand to name a few.

22/06/2010 10:40:04 Council reiterates calls for improvements in taxi industry

The Consumer Council of Fiji believes that instead of calling for fare increase, the Fiji Taxi Union (FTU) should work on bringing efficiency and better services in the taxi industry. All FTU has ever done is call for fare increase but what actions has it taken to remove inefficient taxi operators and their dilapidated vehicles from the industry to give better services to consumers for the money they pay.

14/06/2010 12:25:50 Consumers advised not to buy KSRAM brand energy saving bulb

The Consumer Council of Fiji would like to advice consumers not to buy KSRAM brand bulb after an advice from Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) to have these bulbs recalled from the shelves and have it tested for conformity. KSRAM energy saving bulb (18 Watts, 220-240Volts) is a product from Asia and is sold in most supermarkets, small shops and hardware stores. According to FEA, this product is to be recalled from the shelves and tested for conformity and the retailer is to submit conformity papers from a recognised approval agency.

11/06/2010 15:32:24 Costs for Domestic Travel increases which is likely to hinder tourism: Council

The Consumer Council of Fiji wants Pacific Sun to re-look at its baggage policy as it disadvantages international travellers, especially tourists through inconvenience and unnecessary costs. In April 2010, Pacific Sun revised its baggage policy for connecting flights which not only affects Air Pacific passengers but also passengers using other airlines such as Jet Star, Air New Zealand to name a few.

02/06/2010 12:28:08 Fiji’s electricity tariff rates further burdens the consumers: says the Council

The Consumer Council of Fiji is worried that the recent increase in the electricity price would put additional financial strain on consumers. Majority of these consumers are digging deep into their savings to pay for the numerous increases in the prices of food and services over the past few months.

28/05/2010 11:20:17 Council wants full disclosure of mobile phone promotions

THE Consumer Council is calling on mobile phone operators to fully disclose terms and conditions of their products and services so consumers are not misled.

25/05/2010 10:43:49 Bad taxis, owners should leave: Council

The Consumer Council believes that inefficient taxi operators and their dilapidated vehicles should leave the industry instead of a freeze on taxi permits as suggested by the Fiji Taxi Union. The Council has for long been calling for a total review of the industry. Band-aid solutions such as freezing new permits will not bring about efficiencies in the industry. In fact a freeze will not only prevent potential individuals from gaining a source of income, but also will curb genuine competition in the industry.

21/05/2010 16:16:45 Council cautions consumers on perfumes and cosmetics

The Consumer Council of Fiji would like to caution consumers to closely scrutinize labels and investigate further about the contents of the product before buying perfumes and cosmetics. This is after an overseas scientific study found that top-selling fragrance products- from Britney Spears’ Calvin Eternity and Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio - contain a dozen or more secret chemicals not listed on labels, multiple chemicals that can trigger allergic reactions or disrupt hormones and many substances that have not been assessed for safety by the beauty industry’s self-policing review panels.

20/05/2010 08:54:32 Council urges consumers to plan their shopping

The Consumer Council of Fiji would like to urge consumers to plan their shopping wisely before heading to supermarkets as this could help them save money and buy better quality items. This advice comes after the recent increases in fuel and basic food prices. In April this year, the price of local butter increased by almost 52% while this month price of local chicken rose because of the gradual removal of price control. In addition to this, early this week the price of kerosene, diesel and premix outboard fuel has also shot up by 10cents a litre. This increase will further push up the prices of food items.

10/05/2010 15:46:42 Telecom Fiji should improve services and not charges: Council

The Consumer Council of Fiji wants Telecom Fiji Limited to work on improving its services rather than increasing call charges. From January 2009 to date, the Council has received 67 complaints against Telecom Fiji ranging from charging reconnection fees for bills paid on time, charging for calls not made, charging rental fee barred services and on Easytel phones which are not landline, incorrect billing and levying normal charges on promotional call rates. This is but a tip of the ice berg.

10/05/2010 10:15:27 Council wants an effective “members” association to keep a watch on FNPF

The Consumer Council of Fiji believes that it is time to have an effective Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) “members” Association formed to closely scrutinise and monitor the fund’s management including its investment and lending activities. Currently all FNPF decisions are being made by the FNPF Board where two union members represent the workers. It Fiji only 40% of workers are union members while 60% of the workers are non-union members. This means more than 60% of FNPF contributors and pensioners have no representation on the board. The Council fears continuing with this current practice could lead to serious financial problems for the fund in future with possibilities of members losing their life savings. An effective Association of FNPF member’s will safeguard member’s interest by being vigilant and ensuring transparency in decision making process.

06/05/2010 11:21:57 Council’s mystery shoppers uncover numerous incidents of false advertising during Mother’s Day sale

The Consumer Council of Fiji’s recent survey on Mother’s Day sale conducted by our mystery shoppers network revealed that many retailers were using various means of false advertising to lure consumers into their shops. Prominent amongst these were “bait advertising” and “inflated price” comparison.

05/05/2010 15:44:05 Telecom Fiji’s Brochure on “HOME BASIC PLAN” is a waste of Money.

Telecom’s promotional package titled “Home Basic Plan” which is supposed to offset the 33% increase in local call charges is a waste of money. This brochure states that the post pay residential customers will receive $9.00 worth of free local calls every month which is equivalent to 56 calls. Unfortunately the brochure fails to provide key information needed by consumers to understand how this plan will work. If consumers make 56 calls will these calls be free and therefore consumers have to pay the rental fee only? Is there a condition where customers have to make certain dollar worth of calls to get 56 calls free? How the “Home Basic Plan” does is operationalised? Important information that will make consumers understand how they will benefit from this plan is missing.

04/05/2010 15:30:34 Council partners with NRSC to campaign on Third Party Insurance

The Consumer Council of Fiji has formed partnership with the National Road Safety Council in educating school students in the Western Division on consumer rights and responsibilities which also includes sessions on Compulsory Third Party Insurance (CTPI).

01/04/2010 10:03:10 Ignorance and complacency costs consumers millions of dollars: Council

Consumers in Fiji lose millions of dollars every year either because they are ignorant of their consumer rights and responsibilities or are too complacent to complain. The Consumer Council of Fiji statistics for the past two years reveal that the Council received about 3200 complaints with a dollar value of more than $5 million. And while the Council was able to provide redress to almost 80% of these complainants, we are afraid that a vast number of consumers in Fiji are losing millions and millions of dollars each year either because they were not aware of their rights or were too complacent and keep quiet about the abuse.

Press Releases 2010 40-60 »