23 complaints against company

TWENTY-THREE complaints worth $127,505 have been received by the Consumer Council of Fiji against a construction company (Melbourne Building Works) since the council raised an alert on alleged unfair conduct by the company early this year.

However, in response to questions sent to the company director yesterday, he denied the allegations and said his lawyers were looking into the matter.

Manoj Kumar Parekh sent a statement from his lawyers, which was issued to the Consumer Council of Fiji and media organisations in August this year, threatening legal action against the council and the media organisations that would publish the article.

Yesterday, the council held a press conference and revealed two complainants who claimed they were being treated unfairly by the said company.

Retired schoolteacher Luke Naqelekalou, said he hired the company (Melbourne Building Works) two years ago to carry out renovation works at his home and paid company director (Manoj Kumar Parekh) $25,000.

He said the work that was actually done at his home and the promise that was made by the director was completely different, but the director kept making excuses each time and said the work would be done.

The matter was brought to the council’s attention and the director agreed to refund $3000.

In another case, a couple paid $11,000 to the same company hiring their services for mega kitchen works. Kirti Sharma said the designs shown by the director to them was of very high standard, but the actual work done in the couple’s flat was disappointing.

Ms Sharma said she finally decided to take the matter to the council. She said they had to hire another contractor to redo whatever work was done by the company and more work to finish the kitchen and the flat.

Ms Kumar said they were issuing a fresh alert to all consumers against the company, which was now operating under a new name (Melbourne Works Ltd).

She said they referred the matter to the Fiji Commerce Commission because it was the enforcement agency.

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