Beware of Kit- Home Company

18/07/2014 15:21

The Consumer Council of Fiji is alerting consumers to be wary of a company who may lure you with big promises, taking your money but failing to deliver the services.

Cautioning the consumers, the Council is urging them to refrain from hiring the services of a foreign investor company, namely International Wise Property Developments (Fiji) Limited, which enters into contracts building low cost housing for consumers.

Council’s warning comes following complaints over the company that has shown no interest to provide remedy.

One such case, the Council is dealing with involves an elderly couple, known as the Chungs’ from Samabula - The complainants engaged the company in May 2013 to construct a Kit-Home for their retirement that was to be completed in December 2013. They had paid more than $50,000 to the company.

The Council had formally written to the company Director Mr. Grunt Cullen on 2 occasions, met with him in January 2014 and sent numerous emails following up with what was promised to the complainant.

As a result of the Councils mediation with the company, the Director had set out a new time frame to construct the complainants home which was supposed to take place from 28th February – 28th March 2014 and had also agreed to provide the complainant with compensation by paying for their rent for the extended period it took the company to complete construction (December 2013 –March 2014).

Unfortunately, to date, this company has not been able to deliver the Kit-Home to the complainant, breaching their contractual obligations. This has drastically inconvenienced the complainant as they have not been able to move into their new retirement home – even now, after a year from entering into the contract.

The Council is gravely concerned that this unethical foreign investor is duping consumers who are vulnerable and their hard earned money is at risk. We suspect that more consumers may be affected by the dealings of this company and are too reluctant to come forward with their complaints, hoping that their homes will be built soon.

We encourage these consumers who are still waiting on the International Wise Property Developments (Fiji) Limited to build their houses to lodge their complaints with the Council. The Council can only establish the number of consumers affected once we receive complaints from the public. Consumers must stand in solidarity to safeguard their interest and make this company accountable.

In the meantime, the Council has also written to Investment Fiji, Immigrations department, Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority, Fiji Commerce Commission and Ministry of Industry and Trade highlighting the case and seeking their intervention to protect our consumers.