Consumer Rights Intact

09/07/2014 15:01

Consumers should not believe that goods sold during trade fair shows and carnivals cannot be returned or replaced if they turn out to be faulty or unworkable.

A consumer’s right to seek redress remains intact at all times including ‘sale’ or ‘specials’ offered at a trade shows such as the 2014 Fiji Showcase which is underway at the VodafoneArena in Suva.

Consumers must be cautious, critical and smart as they shop at the show case looking forbargains. A responsible consumer will not indulge in impulse buying. Consumer must not rush into buying products which they don’t need. Sometimes we end up buying goods just because itis cheap but the product is never used. In such cases money is wasted.

Consumers should take time to determine if the product is fit for purpose. Hence, the Council advises consumers to check expiry dates on food products; electronic goods must be tested before purchase and clothing and footwear tried on, to ensure it is the correct size.

At such events, consumers often fail to exercise their consumer responsibility and are enticed into purchasing products that may be a bargain but of poor quality, old stock, and expired or defective.

Consumers further fail to ask necessary questions such on the product warranty, after sales service, availability of spare parts and return policy if the product is defective. Many traders alsofail to issue receipts as proof of purchase to the buyers.

Consumers, therefore, must demand for receipts no matter how busy the place is. Receipt is the evidence of your purchase in case you need to return or exchange the product. Trader sparticipating in the show case are equally responsible and must adhere to the fair trading laws.