THE Consumer Council of Fiji has received complaints against the quality of cellphones sold by some retailers in Labasa.
Council chief executive officer Premila Kumar said 10 complaints from Labasa were recorded in January, compared to three in the corresponding month last year.
"Electronic shops were noted as prevalent sellers of these phones.
"The Northern Division has come in the spotlight for selling sub-standard mobile phones," she said.
"Several consumers raised their concerns over these retailers for selling cheap and poor quality phones that last for a few days only."
Mrs Kumar said the nature of the complaints ranged from problems with phone batteries, missing phone features as promised in advertisements, non-disclosure of information, replacement warranty and speaker problems.
She said the inferior products were designed and programmed in such a way that had misled consumers.
"This is nothing but an advertising tactic used to lure consumers into buying the product.
"What further frustrates consumers is the absence of expected back-up services when things go wrong with the products.
"This is an ongoing problem in the north.
"The council calls on traders to exercise responsibility and stop dumping garbage on consumers.
"The council further urges consumers to be vigilant and exercise their responsibility while shopping for electronic gadgets."
The council has also advised consumers to examine the products carefully.
"Do an online search for the brand if possible, check the brand market reputation and find out about the warranty status prior to buying the product.
"It is wise to go for quality and long lasting products rather than rush into buying cheap products that leave you out of pocket later," said Mrs Kumar.