Consumers Cautioned Against Hida Boutique and Hijabi Closet

May 2, 2022

The Consumer Council of Fiji (CCoF) is urging consumers to exercise extreme caution when dealing with Hida Boutique and Hijabi Closet (both operated by Abida Suwaliha Ali) operating via Instagram. Both these accounts retail clothing items such as scarfs, hijab pins and abaya (Islamic dress).

This online operator advertises and promises to deliver products to consumers upon full payment. However, the delivery never eventuates. Continuous false promises and excuses are provided to consumers for the non-delivery of items with eventual cessation of all communication and updates.

CCoF Chief Executive Officer Ms Seema Shandil says that the demand for items such as hijabs and abaya is high during the current month of Ramadan and this particular person is taking advantage of this to lure and swindle consumers.

“The Council has received a total of 13 complaints just within a span of 4 months against this social media operator with a monetary value of $6500. Despite these high number of complaints, the person in question is showing no efforts to refund consumers money and continues to operate and deceive consumers,” said Ms Shandil.

The Council has continuously tried to communicate with the operator of the two accounts and provided multiple opportunities to improve and provide redress to consumers. However, this particular operator seems to be oblivious to consumer protection laws and the rights of Fijian consumers.

Whilst the Council is working with the relevant enforcement agencies to resolve such cases, consumers are urged to be extremely vigilant when engaging with this particular business or any other traders when transacting online. Proper due diligence such as checking reviews, obtaining physical address of the business and research are the responsibility of consumers when contemplating to purchase products online.

Consumers who have been duped by this online operator are encouraged to contact the Council on toll-free number 155 or lodge a complaint using the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app.