Stop Flouting Consumer Protection Laws, businesses warned

19/04/2021 08:55

“Certain businesses are completing disregarding consumer protection laws which has been implemented in order to protect and ensure that Fijians are able to provide for their families, especially during challenging times such as the current unprecedent global crises” – This has been stressed by the Consumer Council of Fiji (CCoF) Chief Executive Ms Seema Shandil after the Council unearthed cases of traders retailing basic food items such as potatoes and onions at erroneous prices and without following the legally mandated pricing formula provided by the relevant enforcement body.  

Ms Shandil has today emphasized that the intent behind implementing such controls stems from the desire to maintain affordability of essential everyday items which consumers use and to ensure that low-income earners are able to procure these products as well.

“By charging such high prices on basic foods items such as potatoes and onions; businesses are cruelly ensuring that (1) Fijians are able to purchase these products and (2) spend additional money on such products which would otherwise go towards other important tasks such as providing for their children and family”

Complaints lodged by concerned consumers and market surveillance by the Council has revealed that certain traders, especially diary shops, are selling individual potatoes and onions at extremely high prices. In one instance, a trader was selling onion at $0.50 each.

Ms Shandil is reminding businesses that the pricing formula; which clearly communicates the mark-up price for such price-controlled products, as per the Price Control Order, must be strictly followed when determining the price of such products.

“The formula takes into account the costs borne by business in retailing these products which ensures that businesses are profiting by retailing it. Hence, there is no justification for businesses to employ such gold-digging tactics in consumers’ pockets” added Ms Shandil

The Council is encouraging consumers to be more assertive in the market place and do their part by taking a picture of such unscrupulous practices and sending it to the Council via the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app or by simply calling the toll-free number 155.