144 warning letters for non-compliance

February 20, 2023 4:45 pm

Seema Shandil

More than 140 warning letters have been issued to traders following regular market surveillance, spot checks, and trader visits by the Consumer Council of Fiji.

Chief Executive Seema Shandil says between November and January, the overall market compliance to consumer protection laws stood at 48 percent as they inspected 317 businesses.

She says during the height of the festivities, when consumers were engaging in increased spending, certain businesses used this opportunity to profiteer and breaching consumer protection laws in the process.

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Shandil says according to the compliance data, out of every two businesses consumers engaged with, it is highly probable that one of them was non-compliant, which is directly proportional to breaching consumer rights.

The Council also referred 107 businesses to enforcement bodies for continuous or gross breaches of consumer protection laws and consumer rights.

“We have issued several warning letters, but at the same time, we don’t see any differences in the actions taken by these retailers, so what we are doing now is continuously flagging the issues to the enforcement agencies.”

The Consumer Council CEO also says that the compliance rate for supermarkets, pharmacies, and other retail stores was 55 percent, while the compliance rate for service providers such as banks, service stations, salons, postal services, and other businesses dealing with services was 43 percent.

The Council is reassuring consumers that they will work closely with relevant enforcement agencies to iron out these issues and continuously push for stringent enforcement actions to ensure an increase in the level of compliance by traders and service providers.