Quality of Secondhand Spare Parts Questionable
June 6, 2022
Fijian consumers are urged to be cautious when dealing with secondhand vehicle spare part dealers. Investigations have indicated that certain dealers are deliberately retailing shoddy parts in order to swindle thousands of dollars from consumers. Currently, the Consumer Council of Fiji (CCoF) is in receipt of cases whereby consumers have been intentionally sold shoddy spare parts – which ceased to function immediately or within days of purchase. In one of the cases lodged at the Council, a consumer spent almost $1700 on an ABS Accumulator Pump. However, the product stopped working just few days after purchase. The spare part trader simply denied any redress to the consumer, hiding behind the excuse that it was a secondhand part and they cannot bear any liability for it.
Cases regarding short warranty periods being provided on spare parts have also been brought to the Council’s attention. In one instance, a consumer was provided only with a 7-day warranty for secondhand product costing $1500. However, the item stopped functioning on the 8th day hence, was not provided any redress.
The Consumer Council of Fiji Chief Executive Officer Ms. Seema Shandil said secondhand spare part retailers need to put redress mechanisms in place which can be used by consumers in instances where parts become faulty after purchase.
“These products do not come cheap. As such, businesses must not use short warranty periods and no warranty conditions to push shoddy products in to the market. Consumers have the right to repair, replacement or refund if the goods are faulty, unsafe or do not work. Hence, traders must meet a level of quality and performance that would be reasonable to expect, given their price and description. They should also be free from defects that were not obvious at the time of purchase,” added Ms Shandil.
Traders are also being urged to provide a clear and accurate description of the item that is for sale. This includes condition and age of the item as well as current damage and defects.
Meanwhile consumers are advised to be vigilant when purchasing secondhand spare parts by transacting with traders which offer warranties or have redress options available in cases where the product becomes faulty. Consumers must also learn to spot such unethical dealers by doing thorough research and obtain reviews from family, friends and also, if possible, from past customers.
Mobile App @CCoFiji Consumer Council of Fiji www.consumersfiji.org Consumers who have faced similar issues are encouraged to contact the Council on the toll-free number 155. Alternatively, consumers can lodge complaints using the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app or via the Council’s website www.consumersfiji.org