Commission to charge ‘unscrupulous’ traders

FCCC chief executive officer Joel Abraham (right). Picture: FT FILE

UNSCRUPULOUS traders in the Western Division who are misusing government’s HOMES-CARE initiative will soon face serious charges, says Fiji Consumer and Competition Commission CEO Joel Abraham. He made the comment in response to concerns raised by the Lautoka Residents and Ratepayers Association.

Association vice-president Narayan Reddy claimed that some hardware and whitegoods traders were offering two different prices for the same item depending on the mode of payment.

“We are aware of cases where people are asked if they were paying cash or using M-PAiSA and if they say they are using the HOMES-CARE card then the price is much higher,” he said.

In response, the FCCC said it was aware that some traders were involved in two-tiered pricing.

“The matter is being actively investigated,” said Mr Abraham.

“Charges are expected to be laid against a number of traders from the Western Division for contravening provisions of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission Act 2010. “This includes unconscionable conduct, false and misleading representation.”

Mr Abraham said during preliminary investigations in the Western Division last week, he and his team were advised of the issue by a number of consumers.

“The FCCC is monitoring hardware outlets in the Western Division, particularly those involved in providing items under the HOMES-CARE initiative.”

“During its investigations, the team has been warning traders on the repercussions of unethical dealings.”

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