Non-delivery of Goods and Services

December 14, 2020

Consumers spend their time and resources looking for goods/services and upon making payments they expect the product to be delivered on time. However, at times businesses fail to deliver goods/services on time.

Delays in the delivery of goods/services may show a lack of logistical planning and accountability on the part of businesses. While the council acknowledges that some delays are out of the traders’ control, however there are instances where the delays could have been avoided or resolved much faster for consumer satisfaction.

If businesses are aware that they will not be able to supply goods/services as per the agreed or reasonable timeline, they should not accept payment from consumers. Businesses should ensure that they have adequate amount of goods in stock or have the capacity to deliver the services being requested by consumers prior to committing to supply the same.

An alternative would be to inform consumers to pay when the product they are after is available thereby saving time and money for the consumer and ensuring their business reputation is maintained and the consumer is satisfied.

Case studies

A consumer purchased a 500 litres water tank for a community project from a steel company.The tank was for a community project and it was expected that the item be delivered at aspecific date with which the project was to commence. The trader had agreed to deliver the item to Navua which was the site of the project and later changed their stance stating they would not make a special run to deliver only one product. The consumer later raised this issue with the Council and through the Council’s intervention, they delivered the item immediately.

In another case lodged at the Council, a consumer purchased steel worth $1853 for construction works from a prominent hardware company in Suva. However, the company in question failed to deliver the material on the agreed date. The consumer continuously followed up with the company but kept receiving false promises of delivery. Upon the Councils investigation, it was discovered that the company took payment from the consumer despite knowing the material purchased was not in stock and continuously deceived the consumer.

Whilst the Council managed to get the consumer full refund, the consumer’s house construction got delayed by weeks and ultimately, he had to look for the material elsewhere due to the company’s unscrupulous behaviour.

What to do when things go wrong

If you have ordered and/or paid for an item that has not arrived, you may take the followingactions:

  • Find your proof of purchase, which will usually be your paper receipt, e-receipt or giftreceipt, or your copy of the contract but it can also include your bank / credit card statement. You will need proof of purchase in the event that the trader asks you for evidence that they have yet to supply the product/service.
  • Contact the seller to ask them to redeliver the item. This should be done if thegoods/services was never delivered or did not arrive within the expected time.
  • Ask the seller for a refund or redelivery.

Consumer Tips

When purchasing goods/and services consumers are urged to take note of the following:

  • For most contracts, the trader must give you certain important information about thegoods/services, payment arrangements, delivery, their name and contact details, after-sales information and details of any complaints-handling policy they may have. If you received this information, keep it in a safe place.
  • Before purchasing goods/services, be sure to inquire after the details of a complaints-handling policy and who you need to complain to. 
  • Check the trader’s website, the receipt and, the order form or the delivery note for details. Have all relevant documents as well as notes to ensure you have the relevant evidence in case you lodge a complaint with relevance to the goods/services you purchased.
  • Read contracts carefully and take note of delivery dates.

For any consumer issue with relevance to non-delivery of goods/services contact the Council on toll free number 155 or email Complaints can also be lodged on the Consumer Council of Fiji Mobile App.