The Consumer Council of Fiji is warning all traders to
refrain from conditional selling during this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
crisis. It has been brought to the Council’s attention that consumers are being
disallowed from purchasing a particular food item unless they purchase other
goods.

“The Council is now in receipt of some complaints and it’s
really a shame that such practices are prevailing in trying times like
this.  Traders are placing conditions
whereby consumers are asked to purchase others goods along with the particular
product they really wish to purchase,” said Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Seema
Shandil.  

Traders need to know
that this is illegal, very clearly stipulated in Section 87E (1) of the Fijian
Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) Act 2010 that clearly states: A person must not, whether as principal or
agent, refuse to sell goods or services except on the condition that other
goods or services are also purchased from that person or from any other person,
or attempt to impose any such condition.

The Council is cautioning
traders, not only in urban or sub urban but also in isolated areas to refrain
from practicing this unethical behavior. Consumers are urged to be alert to
such unscrupulous retailers who take advantage of a crisis to deceive them and
profiteer. The Council will be making regular checks and those found engaged in
such unfair trade practices will be reported to FCCC. 

Meanwhile, the Council would
like to urge consumers to be proactive and report on retailers practicing
conditional selling. Consumers should also assert their rights under the law
and inform the offending retailers that such practices are illegal.

Consumers are urged to report to the Council via National
toll-free line 155 or email complaints@consumersfiji.org, should they
encounter any retailer engaged in conditional selling during this period.

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