Council focuses on Consumer Protection in West

12/06/2012 11:24

The Consumer Council of Fiji will be conducting workshop in the Western Division from 13 to 15 June focusing on why consumer need protection in financial services. The workshops will be conducted in Sigatoka, Ba and Rakiraki.

The aim of the workshop is to educate and empower consumers on their rights and responsibilities under the Consumer Credit Act.  Funded by the European Union (EU), the workshop is an ideal opportunity for western consumers to seek clarification on various consumer issues. The EU Project aims to educate and inform consumers, regulators, business communities and other stakeholders on the importance of consumer rights and the laws that protect consumers.

Awareness in Sigatoka, Ba and Rakiraki is a priority for the Council as we need consumers particularly from rural communities to fight for a fair marketplace. Consumers often fail to lodge official complaints either because they fear victimization by traders or they are ignorant of their own rights or face difficulty in lodging complaint.

The workshop key focus areas are Consumer Credit Act, debt management and consumer credit advisory services, hire purchase and home loan. Hire purchase for instance remains a popular issue for consumers which the Council hopes to discuss with the participants. These participants who are consumer representatives from various consumer oriented groups will ultimately be responsible to take the message across to their community.

Empowering vulnerable consumers on their rights and instilling confidence in them to question unfair market practices in marketplace, is what the Council hopes to achieve through such workshops.