THE Consumer Council of Fiji spent close to $500,000 on consumer awareness programmes this year.
Council chief executive officer Premila Kumar said they used the money mainly for consumer awareness on mobile units, seminars, workshops, advertisements and other costs.
"During this year, I would say that we may have spent close to half a million dollars on consumer awareness programmes," Mrs Kumar said. From January 1 to October 31 this year, the council recorded 1995 complaints with the monetary value of over $2.64m.
"This shows an increase of 95 complaints compared to the same period last year."
She said 1153 complaints had been successfully resolved through mediation saving consumers more than $633,901.
"Those figures are inclusive of complaints received from the council's three regional offices; Suva Lautoka and Labasa," she said.
She said 154 cases were referred to the Small Claims Tribunal totalling over $103,889, 184 were referred to other authorities while 124 were pending cases as of October 31.
"Landlord and tenant related complaints have topped the council's list once again with 236 complaints." She said this issue had topped the list for the past seven years and was rising.
"This issue remains a concern for the council because of weak and inefficient landlord and tenancy legislation in place," Mrs Kumar said.