No Place For Unethical Market Practices -Council

01/06/2021 12:16

The Consumer Council of Fiji (CCoF) has been recently receiving a lot of complaints against unscrupulous traders trying to profiteer at the expense of Fijians who are already facing financial hardships.

Whilst recognizing the efforts of retailers to keep chains open during these difficult times, an astounding 32% of total complaints registered at the Council between 19 April 2021 – when the first case of community transmission was announced, to 19 May 2021 was against essential service providers such as supermarkets, dairy shops and pharmacies.

At the current time, with unending lockdowns and conditional lockdowns, many consumers have been severely affected either through loss of jobs or reduction in incomes. This is certainly not the time to increase prices and make excess profits. Consumers are already suffering.

Issues such as exorbitant prices of Personal Protect Equipment’s (PPEs), conditional selling, sale of expired food products and the breach of the Price Control Order continues to be on rife despite numerous advisories and warnings issued by the Council.

Having recorded a high volume of reports of shoddy and illegal market practices, Ms Seema Shandil, Chief Executive Officer of Consumer Council said, “those inflating prices to profit off the backs of their communities are adding to their distress and are severely contributing to the socio-economic challenges being faced by Fijians. Businesses indulging in such practices should understand that Fijians are likely to remember those businesses who attempted to profiteer and may well vote with their wallets once this crisis ends”.

Ms Shandil says that these are unprecedented times and there is no place for unethical practices in the market place – now more than ever. We call on all consumers to be vigilant and assertive whilst shopping and speak up if you feel that your are being duped. 

Consumers are being encouraged to download the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app and lodge complaints instantly if they come across any unethical market practices. Alternatively, consumers can also call the toll-free number 155.