COVID-19: Stop Conditional Selling

March 26, 2020

The Consumer Council of Fiji is warning all traders to refrain from conditional selling during this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic crisis. It has been brought to the Council’s attention that consumers are being disallowed from purchasing a particular food item unless they purchase other goods.

“The Council is now in receipt of some complaints and it’s really a shame that such practices are prevailing in trying times like this. Traders are placing conditions whereby consumers are asked to purchase others goods along with the particular product they really wish to purchase,” said Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Seema Shandil.

Traders need to know that this is illegal, very clearly stipulated in Section 87E (1) of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) Act 2010 that clearly states: A person must not, whether as principal or agent, refuse to sell goods or services except on the condition that other goods or services are also purchased from that person or from any other person, or attempt to impose any such condition.

The Council is cautioning traders, not only in urban or sub urban but also in isolated areas to refrain from practicing this unethical behavior. Consumers are urged to be alert to such unscrupulous retailers who take advantage of a crisis to deceive them and profiteer. The Council will be making regular checks and those found engaged in such unfair trade practices will be reported to FCCC.

Meanwhile, the Council would like to urge consumers to be proactive and report on retailers practicing conditional selling. Consumers should also assert their rights under the law and inform the offending retailers that such practices are illegal.

Consumers are urged to report to the Council via National toll-free line 155 or email, should they encounter any retailer engaged in conditional selling during this period.