PRESS ALERT

Fair Reporting Credit Act Safeguards Borrowers’ Interests

 Fijian consumers whose names are listed on Data Bureau database are now better placed to progress in their lives with the enactment of the Fair Reporting of Credit Act of 2016. Click here for more information.

Negligent Banks: Thousands of Consumers affected

As the nation embraces the enactment of the landmark law on credit reporting, the Consumer Council of Fiji has unveiled yet another reckless practice by six commercial Banks operating in Fiji. Click here for more information.

Consumers Must Still Pay

Despite the enactment of the Fair Reporting of Credit Act of 2016, consumers who owe money to their banks, hire purchase companies and other financial institutions will still have to clear their arrears. Click here for more inforamtion.

New law gives consumers a clean slate

The Consumer Council of Fiji welcomes the new law which will give the Fijian consumers whose names were listed on Data Bureau database, a clean slate with no credit history. Click here for more information.

‘Use and Abuse of Antibiotics’

Consumers play a crucial role in combating the Antimicrobial/Antibiotics resistance (AMR) which has now become world’s most pressing public health problem. Click here for more information.

Credit Card Fraud

The Consumer Council of Fiji is calling on the Banks to clear the air on who will be bearing the cost of accumulated interest and Government levy, incurred by customers due to credit card fraud, recently. Click here for more information.

Council welcomes the clamp down on 5 Businesses

The Consumer Council of Fiji applauds Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority for issuing Value Added Tax (VAT) Infringement Notices to five businesses for failing to pass VAT reductions to the consumers. Click here for more information.

LTA's Letter - Cancellation of Authorised Motor Vehicle Dealer Licence to Ariana Used Cars and Sales Ltd.

A letter from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to Ariana Used Cars and Sales Ltd (trader)regarding the cancellation of the Authorised Motor Vehicle Dealer (AMVD) Licence for  second hand motor vehicle trader. This trader must cease business operations. Please click on this link to access this letter.

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JOINT PRESS RELEASE

Price Surveillance Taskforce

The Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority will now work with the Consumer Council of Fiji and the Fiji Commerce Commission to clamp down on traders who are not passing the reduction in duties and VAT to consumers. Click here for more information.

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"Consumers Right to Financial Services"

The Consumer Council of Fiji hosted an ‘Open Forum’, which brought together key players from the Financial Services Sector under one roof and had an open and frank discussion on the consumer friendly policy reforms happening in this sector.

This Forum was held at Tanoa Plaza Hotel in Suva on Monday, 7 December 2015.

Please click on this link to access remarks by Chief Executive Officer - Ms. Premila Kumar.

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RELEASES! 

Display and Charge Correct Prices, Traders Warned!

 With crazy sale and promotions underway in the build-up to the Christmas festivity, the Consumer Council of Fiji is urging consumers to be vigilant while shopping. Click here for more information.

Pay the correct Stamp Duty

The Consumer Council of Fiji is advising consumers to be aware of the new stamp duties that are to come into effect from 1 January 2016. Click here for more information.

 

Feature Article

Hundreds suffer from vehicle accidents annually yet they are not fairly compensated for the physical, emotional and psychological stress that they endure.

Questions have arisen as to whether anyone really cares about the innocent victims of fatal or near fatal accidents and the loss of lives and livelihoods for the injured or deceased families?

It is now more than 12 months when more

than 40 school children and other passengers met with the horrific bus accident at Kubukawa Road when the bus lost control.

The force of the impact was such that several passengers were thrown from the buses windscreen resulting in major injury including loss of limb.

One of the victims involved in that fatal accident was a 73 year-old KanchanLal, who had sustained injuries to his head and legs. He has been running around for a year now, seeking compensation but all doors seemed to be closed on him. Frustrated and feeling let down, Lal lodged his complaint with the Council. While he is thankful to be alive, but his life has not been the same since the ill-fated incident on 28May 2014.

The accident not just affected his health but left a deep hole in his pocket. The injuries he sustained are now taking toll on his mobility. He is attending regular reviews at the hospital.

For this, he is incurring time and money to meet medicine and transport expenses amongst other incidentals. Apart from this, Lal is unable to perform his regular household tasks.

Upon receiving the complaint from Lal, the Council sought clarification from the bus company on the delay to pay out injured passengers. The bus company informed the Council that the third party claim wasdeclined by the insurance company.

The Council contacted the insurance company who confirmed that they had declined all the claims lodged by the bus company simply because the bus company in question was issued with two ‘defect orders’ by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) prior to the accident.

The bus company’s Compulsory Third Party Policywas cancelled because the bus company chose to ignore the defect orders and continued to run their defective bus on the road causing accident.
As a result of this, the insurance company will not entertain any claims put forward by the passengers who sustained injuries during the accident.

Like Lal, the other passengers are also waiting in anticipation, that they will be compensated soon.

It is crystal clear, the bus company owes a duty of care to these passengers and they must take responsibility to ensure that the injured passengers are compensated. After all, the bus company in question kept running their defective bus on the road compromising the lives of the passengers.

Now with the new Board, to preside over the LTA, it is time to also review the route licenses given to the bus companies to operate because some bus companies have gone complacent – they keep driving on their routes without taking any responsibility of improving their fleets.

Route licenses should be reviewed and accident history, bus breakdown and customer satisfaction should be used as an important benchmark. This will weed out bad operators and give opportunity to responsible bus operators to take over that route.

Unfortunately, today’s social reality is that not everyone has the money to go to court to seek compensation. Even in cases compensation was received by making third party insurance claims, the amount was often too small to cater for the injuries suffered and long delays were costly for victims. Bus passenger compensation claims are limited to $4000 per person or $40,000 for all passengers collectively. The amount divided amongst injured passengers is a measly sum which is based on the total number of passengers.

In Lal’s case, the Council is still waiting for a response from the notorious bus company who has gone all silent on the issue. Lal and other passengers onboard that bus deserve a just and a prompt payout because - justice delayed is justice denied!

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Insurance companies must stop putting pressure on public health system!

The Consumer Council of Fiji is concerned with how some insurance companies are clogging the country’s public hospitals and health centers by referring insured patients to seek treatment there. Click here for more information.

 

PRESS RELEASE!

Compare the Prices when buying Sugar testing Machine, Strips!

The Consumer Council of Fiji is calling on the diabetes patients to do comparative shopping when buying a sugar testing machine and strips, the two essentials for those living with diabetes to test, monitor and control their blood sugar level. Click here for more information.

 

PRESS RELEASE!

Vehicle owners need to be aware of major global vehicle recall 

 The Consumer Council of Fiji is urging consumers to be aware of an ongoing global vehicle recall affecting the airbags of certain vehicle brands and models. Click here for more information.

 

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

Joint PR   Joint PR   Makoi Community

NCD Crisis, high on EU, Council agenda

The Consumer Council of Fiji with the support of the European Union held a NCD community-based programme on Thursday, 30th April 2015, to promote health and prevent disease. It is envisaged that such programs will result in increased diagnosis and better management of NCDs at community level. Click here for more information.

UPDATE - 2015 WCRD

2015 World Consumer Rights Day

NCDS ALL ABOUT CHOICES: MINISTER KOYA
3/24/2015

“LIFE is precious and it needs to be protected.” This was the message by Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Hon. Faiyaz Koya for the World Consumer Rights Day celebrations where the theme “Consumers’ Right to Healthy Food” has brought the prevalence of Non Communicable Disease in Fiji under the spotlight.

At the Consumer Council of Fiji-organised event, Minister Koya told the youth, mothers, educators and others that beyond the responsibility the Government and the business community have towards standards, it is the consumers who make the choice.

“You as consumers have an even greater role - you make the choices. Because of this, it is important to make well-thought out choices. The Government ensures protection for all Fijians through appropriate laws and measures,” he said.

He said much has been done by the authorities to ensure that Fijians eat fresh and healthy least of all the promotion of buying fresh Fiji grown fruits and vegetables but also making imported food affordable.

“This has been evident through various policies such as the reduction of fiscal duty on fruits and vegetables from 32 per cent to five per cent to enable all Fijians to have access to a variety of fruits and vegetables,” Minister Koya said.

He commended the other stakeholders such as the business community for coming together to fight NCDs.

Council chief executive officer, Premila Kumar highlighted the various cases of misleading labels and fraudulent claims on food items on supermarket shelves.

“Consumers can only know about a product through information provided on the label and we believe these labels must contain the correct information,” she said.

The council is also exploring the idea of having the nutritional value information on the front of the label rather than the back as well as having the information presented in such a way that it is understood by the consumer.

Minister Koya said Government has also put in place the Commerce Commission Decree 2010 to provide pricing determinations which eliminates restrictive trade practices and provides for the consumer protection through provisions on false and misleading representation, misleading advertising and deceptive conduct.

Ministry of Health’s National Adviser on NCD, Dr Isimeli Tukana said the Ministry was trying to bring in the star rating system from neighbours Australia and New Zealand as this has been more effective in attracting consumers on making the right choice.

World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated globally on March 15 but had to be deferred due to adverse weather.

 WCRD

2015 World Consumer Rights Day 
Theme : Consumers' Right to Healthy Food 

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/22307-healthy-food-now

Unhealthy diets contribute to more than 11 million deaths a year. This means it is now a bigger killer than tobacco. Obesity alone is estimated to cost $2 trillion per year. And this isn’t just a ‘rich world’ problem - some of the biggest increases in diet-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers are in developing countries.

It really is time the world woke up to the price of unhealthy diets.

Consumers International and the global consumer rights movement are calling for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to develop a global treaty to support consumers’ rights to healthy food. A global treaty would:

  • Reduce very high levels of fat, salt and sugar in everyday foods
  • Reduce the marketing of junk food to children
  • Provide clear nutrition labelling to help consumers choose a healthy diet
  • Improve the standards of food served in public institutions such as schools and hospitals

Click on the support buttons and join our call for a #FoodTreatyNow to support consumers’ rights to healthy food.

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Public Notice

The Council is iniviting interested persons to join our Community Consumer Network Group (CCAG) on a voluntary basis.

Click below for more information:

Click here.

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Public Notice

Information on Suva Private hospital's 24 hour service commencing on Februaruy 2, 2015.

Click below to acces the Public Notice published.

Click here

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Public Notice

Information on Water Authority of Fiji services (Free water supply)

Click below to access the Customer Information Form

Click here

Click below to access the Usage Allowance Form

Click here

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The Fijian Government Free Medicine Program.

Click  below for the list.


List of Medicine

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PRESS STATEMENT

Clarification on Price Increase Post-Budget Announcement

The Consumer Council of Fiji is reminding traders to be honest and sell old stock at the old price as duty on old stock was already paid before the budget announcement on 21st November 2014.

This reminder comes after the Council’s three regional offices were flooded with queries from the consumers who experienced immediate price increases on goods following the budget announcement last Friday.

The price increases on all imported alcohol, tobacco and cigarettes by 10 % after the 2015 national budget announcement comes into effect when there is delivery of new stock after the budget announcement. If a retailer is selling these products from his old stock then it must be sold at the old retail price.

According to [Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority] Public Circular No. 9 of 2014, the duty rates and other changes relating to the Customs Tariff Act shall apply to goods arriving for the first time in Fiji by ship or aircraft, after midnight, Thursday 20th November, 2014. The mentioned time and date also applies to goods relating to changes to the Excise Act.

The duty rates shall also apply for goods removed for home consumption fromWarehouses, Inland Freight Stations (IFS) (un-cleared cargo), Cargo Freight Station (CFS) Tax Free Factories / Tax Free Zones, Duty Suspension Scheme firms, Excise factories and all un-cleared cargo after midnight, Thursday 20th November, 2014.

The new price only applies when the retailer pays new rate of duty on the new stock of these items arriving for the first time in Fiji by ship or aircraft, after midnight, Thursday 20th November, 2014.

In other words, all un-cleared cargo after midnight, Thursday, 20th November, 2014 will be charged new duty rate by FRCA which will be passed on to consumers as “increase in price”.
For more information you can visit FRCAs website- http://www.frca.org.fj/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Custom-Budget-Circular.pdf

The same applies to other luxury items which had a duty increase of 32 %. These items are: perfumes, cosmetics, shaving, or after shave preparations, Camera’s and Camcorders, sunglass, binoculars, video & electronic games, watches, iPods, MP3 and MP4 players and Jewellery.

Retailers must uphold business ethics and fair trade practice and do the right thing and not hoodwink the consumers by increasing the price of old stock where duty was already paid before the budget announcement.
 


 


Consumer Updates


  • 04/05/2016 10:05:46
    Fijian consumers whose names are listed on Data Bureau database are now better placed to progress in their lives with the enactment of the Fair Reporting of Credit Act of 2016.



  • 04/05/2016 10:04:22
    As the nation embraces the enactment of the landmark law on credit reporting, the Consumer Council of Fiji has unveiled yet another reckless practice by six commercial Banks operating in Fiji.



  • 04/05/2016 10:01:51
    Despite the enactment of the Fair Reporting of Credit Act of 2016, consumers who owe money to their banks, hire purchase companies and other financial institutions will still have to clear their arrears.


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