Barbershops under Spotlight for Appointment Charges

01/07/2021 14:18

The COVID-19 health safety protocols which high risk businesses are mandated to follow in order to operate should not be used as a tactic to impose additional costs to consumers. The Consumer Council of Fiji (CCoF) is highlighting this after receiving complaints and tip-offs from consumers that certain barbershops are charging customers for making appointments – a mandatory requirement which barbershops have to adhere to in order to operate.

Investigations by CCoF into these complaints and tip-offs have revealed that certain barbershops in the greater Suva area are charging from $5.00 to up to $15.00 for appointments in addition to the charges for the services being rendered.

While acknowledging the hardships being faced by businesses across Fiji, the CCoF Chief Executive Officer Ms Seema Shandil has called on both, businesses and consumers to show their veilomani culture during these trying times and work hand-in-hand in order to endure the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.

“Forcing such additional costs on consumers will also have implications on the viability of businesses. Given that consumers’ wallets have also been drastically impacted, they will opt to procuring the services of other barbershops which are not charging for appointments or simply limit the use of such services. This loss of customers will have even greater impact on such businesses,” said Ms Shandil.

CCoF is also thanking the barbershops for removing appointment charges promptly after its intervention and is reminding other similar businesses to refrain from engaging in such practices.

Consumers are encouraged to contact CCoF on the toll-free number 155 or lodge a complaint using the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app if they come across businesses employing such tactics.