Act under review

May 5, 2016

THE Consumer Council of Fiji has welcomed the decision by the Government to review the Consumer Credit Act 1999.

Council CEO Premila Kumar was reacting to comments by Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism permanent secretary Shaheen Ali at Studio 6 in Suva yesterday.

Mr Ali said the ministry was undertaking the review of the Consumer Credit Act 1999 with the support of the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program.

“The Act has provisions on a number of credit agreements and also includes the hire-purchase agreement.

“Through this review, the ministry will balance the interest of the credit lending institutions and the consumers,” he said.

Mr Ali said as much as regulations were important, the Government did not want them to become a burden on doing business or for a consumer to have access to basic items.

Meanwhile, during her presentation at the Fiji Commerce Commission-organised workshop on the white goods market in Fiji yesterday, Ms Kumar said the council received 102 white goods complaints so far this year.

Since 2008, she said, the council received 1000 white goods complaints.

“One thing to note is that the number of complaints is increasing and these complaints do not include mobile phones. Electronic goods are one of the top five complaints that the council receives,” she said.

The nature of complaints varied from pre-disclosures, warranties and after-sales services to substandard products, she said.

Ms Kumar said counterfeit products being sold by some traders were also a problem and a cause for concern.

According to Ms Kumar, there was a need to strengthen laws such as the Consumer Credit Act 1999 and Sale of Goods Act Cap 230.

She said it was also important to ensure that standards were developed, which would ensure quality white goods were brought in for the Fiji market.

Source: Fiji Times