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1464 Complaints Received By Council’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Division

1464 Complaints Received By Council’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Division
Consumer Council of Fiji Chief Executive , Premila Kumar. Photo: Maraia Vula
December 31
12:29 2017

The second half of this year was challenging for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Division of the Consumer Council of Fiji.

This after unsatisfied and aggrieved consumers continued to bring their complaints to the Council.

Recurring issues such as landlord and tenancy, mobile products, electronic goods (home), food and drinks, hardware, construction services, insurance, internet services, motor vehicle (second hand) and banking services were the top 10 complaints in the 11 months.

A total of 1464 complaints with monetary value of $5,121,012.71 were registered between January 1 to November 30.

The Council resolved 1157 cases through effective mediation putting $3,887,668 back in to the consumer pockets.

A total of 49 complaints were referred to the Small Claims Tribunal while 44 were deferred to other authorities.

Complex cases were 299 that the Council is devoted to resolving in a reasonable and effective manner to satisfaction of both parties involved.

15 weak cases were recorded by the Council where complaints failed to provide evidence to substantiate their claims after lodging their concerns.

In terms of the highest number of cases recorded, landlord and tenancy topped the list with 136 complaints.

Council chief executive officer Premila Kumar said: “This is a recurring complaint to the Council every year with common issues including failure to refund bond money, non-issuance of receipts by landlords and non compliance with the 30-days written eviction notice period.

“The council was further made aware of some landlords increasing the rent despite the rent freeze order in place and the poor state of the rental premises.”

The Council through mediation with both parties managed to assist the tenants where congenial resolutions were attained.

Issues relating to mobile products secured second spoit on the list with 128 complainants with the nature of issues including inferior and counterfeit products being sold to unsuspected consumers.

Complaints related to electronic goods (home) ranked third on our list with 128 cases.

Food and drinks remained at fourth position with 71 complaints recorded.

Complaints related to hardware was fifth on the list with 58 complaints which included traders failing to supply building materials despite payments being made and supply of shoddy materials to consumers.

The Council further assisted consumers by asking the Ministry of Forestry for access to reports in order to determine the quality of materials that were supplied to the consumers.

Alternatively, 44 complaints were logged against construction services which was at number in the list.

“Consumers were aggrieved by the shoddy work carried out by the construction companies and works being abandoned midway,” Ms Kumar said.

“Consumers who invested thousands of dollars on property construction were unnecessarily hassled by the behavior of some companies.”

Also with 41 complaints, consumers came forward with their concerns regarding insurance services.

Internet services at number eight with a total of 41 complaints

Issues pertaining to motor vehicles (secondhand) were ninth on the list with 37 complaints.

Complaints against banking services with 36 complaints.

Overall, it had been a busy period for the Council as consumers relentlessly relied on the Council to assist them with their issues and seek favourable outcomes.


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