Traders warned against selling substandard products

27/07/2018 15:38

The Consumer Council of Fiji is warning traders not to sell substandard products in a bid to make a quick buck.

 The Council has received complaints regarding traders using untreated and substandard timber to make furniture and selling them off at exorbitant prices.

 In a case reported to the Council, two consumers had bought beds from MH, Labasa, only to find the wooden frames were infested with wood bores and the mattresses had bed bugs. They had initially sought redress from the trader but were unsuccessful and later lodged their complaint with the Council.

 The Council had requested that the beds be inspected and the findings from the Forestry department indicated that the trader had used inferior materials to construct the frame of the bed.

This allowed active infestation to other framing timbers.

Further findings showed that 70 per cent of the wood used was under the utility grade. This is considered waste material. Timber used had defects like pith, pinholes, knots, bark, and tapered wood. These defects weaken timber and lower its value for structural purposes. The low grade timber gained a lot of moisture resulting in the formation of black greenish patches on the surface of the timber. Timbers used for furniture must be dry and have less than l8 per cent of moisture content.

 Actions by traders as such is unacceptable. It is a blatant disregard of their responsibility towards consumers.

 Traders are advised that they must use the right grade of timber for furniture making. These are Fiji Prime and Selective grade.

 Should they have a new supplier or manufacturer they must put in place proper quality control in acquiring such materials. The onus is on traders to ensure that they source material from suppliers who are compliant with standards and use quality timber. Consumers pay good money for products and as such traders must ensure their products are of merchantable quality.

 Traders or manufactures are urged to ensure that quality standards are met and that they comply with the regulations stipulated on the use of timber as specified by the Forestry department.