Focus on Quality and Not Loud Music

13/04/2017 15:42

Focus on Quality and Not Loud Music

06 January 2017

The Council refutes the Labasa Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Satish Kumar’s claim that: “As a businessman, I would say that most of my customers get attracted to music and that is one way we get them to shops with us…” Using sound system to do sales and get customers is not only an unethical way of doing business but also illegal.

The Consumer Council of Fiji is calling on consumers to choose wisely and not to be lured by the loud music, a method by traders to attract consumers to their stores.

This call comes after an article titled ‘Call for Change in Conduct’ published in The Fiji Times on Thursday, January 5, 2017. The article states that “few business operators in Labasa claimed that a Labasa Town Council staff had allegedly pulled their sound system from their supermarket during the height of the festive season sales”. He further asserted that “the way we see it there was no professionalism in what they did”. The Council wishes to remind the business houses that professionalism is when the traders and service providers behave responsibly and ethically in the marketplace.

We are aware that loud music is being played in front of shops, which is used as a medium of attracting consumers to the shops. Sound system is also used to advertise specials on certain goods that traders have. The idea is to entice customers to do their shopping with the particular trader.

Such conduct is contrary to section 77 (1) (j) of the Commerce Commission Act 2010 which states: “A person shall not, in trade and commerce, in connexion with the supply or possible supply of goods or services or in connexion with the promotion by any means of the supply or use of goods or services make a false or misleading representation concerning the need for any goods and services”. Playing loud music normally entices consumers to buy products which they do not need. Apparently, the traders are well aware of this and have no hesitation in using such tactics to mislead consumers.

The Council wishes to further advise the traders that this sort of action can also result in a breach of the provisions in the Crimes Act 2009. Section 376 (1) of the Act prohibits persons from causing annoyance and obstructing or causing inconvenience to the public in the exercise of one’s common rights. Furthermore, section 379 of the said Act stipulates: “A person commits a summary offence if he or she offers goods or services for sale (in public or private) and he or she unreasonably exerts oppressive or unfair pressure on any person in a manner which causes annoyance to that person”.

Consumers are reminded not to be swayed easily by loud music but go for quality goods and services. Not all shops that play music have the best specials in terms of price. Thus, a good look around would always lead you to the best place that would have quality goods and services for the best price.

Consumers should rather check the appearance or the state of the shop. This would depict the quality of goods sold by the retailer and how well the goods are kept before it is sold.

The first expression that you get from a sales representative determines if you are going to buy from the shop. In most cases, if you have a friendly customer services it often leads to a pleasant shopping experience. A good look around for the best price and quality goods is what consumers need. Always check for the best prices and quality stuff with proper labelling.

Consumers are encouraged to educate themselves on the product they plan to purchase.

The Council advises traders to provide quality goods and services for consumers. They must refrain from using loud music to attract consumers.

In the meantime, enforcement authorities are requested to monitor the conduct of the traders and take appropriate measures to curb any illegal or unethical practices by the traders.