Repairman Trading on Social Media Cons Consumers

30/09/2021 15:59

The Consumer Council of Fiji (CCoF) is reiterating that consumers should be extremely cautious when soliciting services of individuals or companies trading on social media platforms such as Facebook. Consumers are also being urged to only make payments while receiving the items ordered or when they are content with the services rendered.

This fresh call for consumer vigilance on social media platform comes after the Council received complaints from aggrieved consumers who hired a self-proclaimed repairman operating via Facebook to repair their white goods such as washing machines. However, consumers revealed to the Council that not only did the discourteous repairman failed to fix the existing issues, but also inflicted additional damages on the goods which were not present before. In some instances, the repairman claimed to have replaced certain parts of the white goods, however, further consultation and examination of the goods by legitimate and reliable repair centers has revealed that the said parts were not changed.

The CCoF Chief Executive Officer Ms Seema Shandil has dubbed this act by the crooked repairman in question as a deceitful scam which is robbing consumers in broad daylight under the pretense of providing legitimate and quality services to consumers.

“White goods such as washing machines and other household appliances do not come cheap, and repairman and other service centers are meant to provide an affordable and quality alternative to those who have issues with their products. However, some individuals are seeing it fit to use this critical service industry to rip-off consumers for their own personal gain”, said Ms Shandil.

Consumers are encouraged to seek advice and opinions from more than one repairman or service provider, should they need to get their goods repaired. While it is recommended to seek the services of traders from where the products are bought, consumers wishing to procure the services of individuals or businesses on social media are being reminded to verify its reliability by thoroughly going through reviews on social media, and taking advice from family and friends. The expertise and know-how of these individuals should also be verified to ensure they have the skill to repair products.  Consumers should also ensure to have evidences for any transactions that eventuate between them and the hired service providers. 

Consumers who have face similar issues are encouraged to contact the Council on toll-free number 155 or lodge a complaint using the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app.