Defective products issue

TRADERS are being warned not to sell defective products in efforts to make quick money.

TRADERS are being warned not to sell defective products in efforts to make quick money.

This comes after an incident in Labasa where the Consumer Council of Fiji registered a complaint against traders using untreated and substandard timber to make furniture and selling them at high prices.

The council’s executive chairman, Raman Dahia, said in a statement that in a case reported to the council, two consumers bought beds from an established store in Labasa only to find the wooden frames were infested with wood bores and that the mattresses had bedbugs.

“They had initially sought redress from the trader, but were unsuccessful and later lodged their complaint with the council,” he said.

“The council had requested that the beds be inspected and the findings from the Forestry Department indicated that the trader had used inferior materials to construct the frame of the bed.

“Further findings showed that 70 per cent of the wood used was under the utility grade.”

Mr Dahia said timber used had defects like pith, pinholes, knots, bark, and tapered wood, adding that the defects weakened timber and lowered its value for structural purposes.

“The low grade timber gained a lot of moisture resulting in the formation of black greenish patches on the surface of the timber,” he said. “Timbers used for furniture must be dry and have less than 18 per cent of moisture content.”

Mr Dahia advised traders to use the right grade of timber for furniture making, adding they needed proper quality control in acquiring such materials if they had new suppliers.

“The onus is on traders to ensure that they source material from suppliers that are compliant with standards and use quality timber because consumers pay good money for products,” he said.

“Traders or manufactures are urged to ensure that quality standards are met and that they comply with the regulations stipulated on the use of timber as specified by the Forestry Department.”

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