Promotions To Be Conducted Fairly

16/07/2018 08:18

 

The Consumer Council of Fiji is urging traders to conduct their promotions in an honest and fair manner.

The call comes after the Council received complaints from consumers who won promotions but were not provided their prizes until the Council intervened.

In one case a Navua resident learned from a friend that he had won a camp kit from the "Win a Camp Kit" promotion by way of advertisement in a daily newspaper.

In the advertisement he was provided a point of contact to liaise with in order to receive his prize.

When liaising with the point of contact he was informed the items were not in stock and would be delivered later but this never eventuated. After a lapse of several months he lodged his complaint with the Council. Through mediation the complainant was able to receive his prize.

A similar situation was faced by another consumer who won a smart phone as part of a promotion earlier this year. She was also notified by way of advertisement in a daily. Numerous attempts to reach the point of contact and redeem the prize proved futile causing her to lodge a complaint at the Council. The company had indicated the phone had been burnt in a warehouse fire causing the delay. The fire however had occurred a month after the winning entry was advertised. In both cases, the traders had failed to contact the winners despite having advertised their names as winning entries and no attempt was made to communicate with them regarding the dates they would receive their prizes.

It is the trader's duty to inform the winners of the promotion about collecting prizes. These promotions are marketed widely and their prizes entice many consumers to spend money to enter the promotion. However consumers are left disappointed when they do not receive their prizes on time and are left in the dark on whether they will receive the prize at all.

This is unacceptable and unethical behavior. Traders that run these types of promotions must ensure that they are able to deliver the prizes within a reasonable time frame and in fact should give consumers an exact time when the prize will be delivered. If they are unable to supply the winning prize for whatever reason, they must communicate this to the consumer and either give a date when their prize will be delivered or offer an alternative.

The actions by the traders are in contravention of Section 85 (1) of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission Act 2010 for failing to supply good in connection with a promotion.
The Council has also noted that some traders run promotions with terms and conditions written in fine print that at times are not readable by many consumers.

The Council requests that these be in a readable font and that agents disclose the critical information in the terms and conditions to consumers as they are from all walks of life.

Consumers facing similar issues can call the Council toll free helpline on 155 or email complaints@consumersfiji.org