Businesses Hike Price of PPEs

23/04/2021 15:50

Certain businesses are using the current wave of COVID 19 cases in Fiji to profiteer by senselessly and arbitrarily increasing the prices of life saving Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).

Complaints driven snap survey by the Consumer Council of Fiji in the Central Business District in Suva this morning revealed that the prices of PPEs such as masks, gloves and hand sanitizes has been increased by some retailers. The Council also discovered huge disparities in the prices of similar branded PPE products, for instance it was noted that whist one pharmacy retailed a pack of 50 disposal masks (same brand and type) at $75, the same was sold at $147.50 by another.  The Council was appalled to note that some pharmacies are making as much as 100 per cent profit from mask sales with no consideration of the severity of the virus and its impacts on consumers

CCoF Chief Executive Ms Seema Shandil says that consumers are complying with the critical lifesaving advisory by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services which is imperative in curbing the further spread of the virus in our communities but such unethical acts by some businesses is ripping our consumers off and are effectively ensuring that lifesaving products are not in their reach.

“We understand that PPEs are not under price control however, this does not mean that businesses should charge high prices to consumers in a time of need. Such unethical practices by businesses especially during a time riddled with economic hardship is unacceptable,” stated Ms Shandil.

The Council is further stressing that this type of skulduggery practices by businesses means that ordinary Fijians and those vulnerable will not be able to afford essential items meant to protect them and their loved ones.

All cases received by the Council will be forwarded to enforcement agencies to ensure such businesses are taken to task. Consumers coming across traders engaging in price gouging are encouraged to call the Council on toll-free number 155 of lodge a complaint using the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app.