Conditional selling hinders consumers to bake this Christmas: Council

15/12/2011 16:20

The Consumer Council of Fiji is calling for harsher penalties and better monitoring of traders practicing conditional selling.

The Council’s recent market surveillance in the west has revealed that a number of shops in Kashmir Lautoka were found refusing to sell Rewa Butter to customers unless they purchase bread or biscuit. This is conditional selling and must immediately stop.

It is this time of the year when consumers need butter to make cakes and biscuits for Christmas, unfortunately, consumers have to spend unnecessary money on other items just to buy “butter”.

The Council would like to remind traders that such conditional selling is illegal and amounts to unfair trade practices. According to the Commerce Commission Decree 2010, Section 87E (1) Every person commits an offence against this Decree who, whether as a principal or agent and whether by himself or his agent, refuses to sell any goods or services except on the condition that other goods or services are also purchased from him or any other person nominated by him or attempts to impose any such condition.

The Council has been inundated with calls from consumers who have been forced to purchase other goods conditioned with their preferred choice of good. For example Rewa butter will only be sold to a consumer if they buy bread or biscuit.

The Council is warning traders in isolated residential areas who are engaged in this unfair trade not to cheat vulnerable consumers. The Council will be making regular checks.

Meanwhile, the Council would like to urge consumers to be proactive and report on retailers who refuse to sell goods or services unless other goods or services are purchased. Consumers should assert their rights under the law and inform the offending retailers that such practices are illegal.