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Unfair trading

Samuel Berenyi
Saturday, January 18, 2014

HAVING barely entered the new year the Consumer Council of Fiji has already received 75 complaints from consumers.

In a statement, council CEO Premila Kumar said the complaints involved a total of $38,267 and were about products purchased during the festive season.

Handsets, tablets and their accessories, landlord/tenancy issues and electronic goods made up the top three, with 12, 11 and eight complaints respectively.

The council also made a fresh call to consumers to be more vigilant with product purchases, especially mobile phones as they continue to remain number one on the consumer complaint list.

Last year the council received 202 complaints regarding mobile phone products, a clear indication that Fijian consumers are being exposed to counterfeit products dumped in the Fijian market.

Mrs Kumar said with regards to landlord/tenancy issues, it was generally seen that consumers move or enter into new tenancy agreements around the new year in preparation for new jobs or university study. Issues vary from landlords not refunding bonds, tenants not receiving a month's notice to vacate premises, unfair contracts terms in tenancy agreements.

"These issues are recurring and reflect the inadequate legislation aimed at protecting consumers," Mrs Kumar said.

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