Service Stations ignore PIB Advice on new fuel price increase

23/07/2009 16:32

The Consumer Council of Fiji is inundated with calls from consumers to complain about service stations that had charged them new fuel price before it came into effect. The Prices and Incomes Board announced an increase in the fuel prices with effective from Wednesday, 22 July from midnight. Unfortunately some unscrupulous service station operators decided to cash-in by ignoring PIB announcement. One such Service Station in Nadi (Khan’s Service Station) increased the price of fuel not minutes but hours before the clock could strike midnight. A taxi driver lodged a complaint to the Council that he went to this Service Station on 21st July at 9:30 pm and he was charged the new fuel price. He immediately lodged his complaint at the Police Station. The Council is aware of such market practice which is quite annoying because of the laxity in the system.

This Council is aware of the market practice that prevails whenever the fuel price increases. The Service Stations start selling fuel at new price without complaining that they have old stocks which in fact should be sold at old price.  Consumers are always shortchanged when the fuel prices decreases where some Service Stations continue to sell fuel at higher price by complaining that they have old stock to clear. Why old stock is not an issue when fuel price goes up?

This is a recurring problem that has not been dealt seriously by PIB or the Department of Fair Trading and Consumer Affairs. 

To note, it is noted that the increase in fuel prices immediately translates to increases in the prices of goods and services. However, when there is a decrease in the prices of fuel, it fails to translate into reduced prices of goods and services. Consumers in Fiji are therefore deprived of taking advantage of the reduced fuel prices.

Meanwhile, the Council applauds the stand taken by consumers to report these operators and encourages others to voice their concerns as well against traders who engage in unethical business practices that create an unfair marketplace.