Consumers unfairly locked in contract by Sky Pacific

04/09/2013 16:31

The Consumer Council of Fiji is disappointed with Sky Pacific Services and its unfair contract conditions that have unfairly locked in its customers. 

Sky Pacific customers are now required to pay $150 for the decoder upgrade of MPEG 2 to MPEG 4 decoders.

These customers have signed with the service provider at the point of purchase of the Sky Pacific’s services, agreeing to conditions such as “reserves the right to change the Services” that it offers “at any time” and “without prior notice”.  Such contracts have unjust advantages to Sky Pacific whilst being a disadvantage to the consumers.

What also does not help is the fine prints in the contracts making it difficult for an average consumer to read and understand the terms and conditions in contracts.

The Sky Pacific customers who have signed the contract are now bound by it. These consumers have no choice but to comply with the provisions in their contracts.

It is worth noting that Australia has a legislation on unfair contract terms which is applicable to consumer contracts, more particularly, to standard contract form.

Unfortunately, there are no such laws in Fiji to protect consumers against unfair contracts terms. It is for this reason, the Council has found the terms and conditions are drawn from merchant’s perspective where merchants’ interest is protected at the expense of the consumers.

Fiji needs to seriously consider putting in place such laws to better protect consumers against unfair contract terms used widely in the marketplace.