NEWS

Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission And Land Transport Authority Crack Down On Illegal Uber Operations In Fiji

This illegal operation which plays on words and portrays themselves misleadingly as Uber, advertises their 'services’ on Facebook.
03 Mar 2020 10:35
Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission And Land Transport Authority Crack Down On Illegal Uber Operations In Fiji
Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission chief executive officer Joel Abraham.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA), in conjunction with the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC), is advising Fijians against using the services of an illegal operation that is portraying themselves as Uber.

This illegal operation which plays on words and portrays themselves misleadingly as Uber, advertises their ‘services’ on Facebook.

Uber Viti Cooperative is an illegal car service that uses unlicensed vehicles and drivers from Central Suva and Martintar Nadi. Uber is not permitted to operate in Fiji.

By using them, Fijians are exposing themselves to a significant risk of death or serious injury says LTA.

FCCC CEO, Joel Abraham said that Fijian consumers need to be careful and not tempted by such services as the risk is not worth it.

“FCCC is working with LTA to ensure that Fijian consumers are not misled by such operators into thinking they are paying for and receiving an official service which could lead to harm,” said Abraham.

“We always advise Fijians to be wary of non-licensed or unofficial providers of services and in this case, they are masquerading as an official company which is very misleading.”

The Authority advises that those tempted to get into a vehicle that is not an authorised Public Service Vehicle (PSV) should not for the following reasons:
• The vehicle will not be insured if it is involved in a collision.
• There is a grave risk that the “driver” is not experienced and high risk.
• There is a high risk of inappropriate contact or worse.
• There is a strong possibility that the driver of the illegal vehicle does not know the correct route to follow to take you to your destination.
• The condition of the vehicle may be highly dubious and not roadworthy.
• The vehicles and drivers are not licensed as PSV vehicles and drivers.

LTA CEO Mr. Samuel Simpson said the LTA strives to eliminate illegal competition wherever it exists in Fiji.

“Illegality of this service adversely affects the legitimate transport operations in Fiji,” he said.

The Authority, at its PSV Board Meeting on Thursday, November 7 2019, had Uber Viti before it to apply for 10 Licenced Hire permits.

During this meeting, the Uber Viti representatives, including their legal counsel, informed the Authority that they had 29 Corporate clients using the services of Uber Viti. Further, it was admitted by Uber Viti that these services were being provided illegally.

In light of this and the Authority’s mandate against such illegal activities, the Authority wrote to all 29 so-called corporate clients, advising them as follows:

Any of your staff using these services which are advertised on Facebook are exposed to considerable dangers indicated below:

Cars and occupants are not insured as these are private vehicles not insured for operation as Hire Cars. The LTA will be issuing Traffic Infringement Notices in respect of Uber Viti
vehicles operating illegally Uber Viti will be reported to FICAC and FRCS

I am certain that your company/entity would not wish to be associated with and using services which are being provided illegally.

I, therefore, urge you to desist from using these illegal services in the interests of all law- abiding citizens of Fiji.

Uber Viti is deliberately misrepresenting consumers through erroneous advertising on Facebook. Additionally, by having Uber logos on the sides of their vehicles they are passing themselves off as Uber which they patently not. The combined resources of FCCC, LTA, FRCS and FICAC will be brought to bear down on such illegal operations to remove them from Fijian roads for the safety and security of Fijians.

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj



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