Consumer Council Of Fiji: Celebrate Smart This Mother's Day; Council Advises Vigilance

Published: Fri 10 May 2024 02:23 PM
This Mother's Day, Fijians are urged to celebrate smart and be aware of potential consumer issues amidst the celebratory fervour. A reflection of issues unearthed by the Consumer Council of Fiji in the past years have seen cases of bait advertising, misleading sales and promotions and sale of expired food and drinks rife during this time. Hence, it's imperative for consumers to exercise due diligence to safeguard their interests.
Consumer splurging on gifts and treats for Mother's Day often leads to increased susceptibility to deceptive marketing practices. Bait advertising, where enticing offers are used to lure customers into purchasing higher-priced items, remains a concern. Similarly, misleading advertisements and exclusionary clauses can leave consumers feeling cheated and dissatisfied.
While stressing the prevalence of misleading advertisements, Council CEO Seema Shandil stated “Issues emanating includes ‘specials’ where consumers do not save anything, advertised ‘specials’ on store shelves/advertisements not being reflected at point of sale and combo deals where consumers would have been better off buying items in the deal individually are extremely common,”.
Shandil further stated that certain traders employ a whole host of sneaky tricks to get their hands-on consumer’s hard-earned cash during such celebrations. “When walking around in shops, it's likely you will be inundated with lots of brightly coloured signs for 'top deals for Mothers Day', 'lowest prices, and ‘Mothers Day bonanza’. But beneath the bright colours and tempting signs, are the special and discount offers we see genuine? And do they give us value for money? These retailers must stop tricking shoppers with deceptive deals and spurious special offers.” said Shandil.
Furthermore, with the demand for baked goods such as cakes soaring during this period, consumers are reminded to pay attention to baked-on dates. Bakeries are mandated by law to display this information on their products, ensuring consumers can make informed choices about freshness and quality.
In addition to baked goods, the purchase of electronic goods sees a spike as consumers seek to surprise their mothers with gadgets and appliances. To avoid potential disappointments, consumers are encouraged to review warranty policies, test products when possible, and inquire about after-sales services. This proactive approach can help prevent post-purchase regrets and ensure a positive consumer experience.
Ms Shandil further emphasized the importance of consumer awareness and empowerment during festive occasions. "While Mother's Day is a time for celebration and appreciation, it's crucial for consumers to remain vigilant against deceptive practices that may exploit their goodwill. By staying informed and assertive, consumers can make confident choices and enjoy a fulfilling Mother's Day experience."
The Council is also urging consumers to retain their receipts as proof of purchase as this will be essential in facilitating refunds or exchanges in case of any issues. Additionally, taking a picture of receipts can serve as a backup in case they are misplaced or fade over time. Moreover, consumers should engage in comparative shopping to ensure they are getting the best value for their money. Online platforms offer convenient tools for comparing prices and product features, empowering consumers to make informed decisions.
For queries, consumers can contact the Council via the toll-free number 155 or lodge a complaint via

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