Consumer Council calls for bus freight charges to be regulated

Consumer Council calls for bus freight charges to be regulated

By Iva Danford
Sunday 05/06/2022
Council Chief Executive Officer Seema Shandil.

In efforts to protect the rights and interests of the people who travel by bus, the Consumer Council of Fiji is currently working on a submission to the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission calling for the introduction of price authorizations outlining the guidelines and parameters to determine bus freight costs.

Council Chief Executive Officer, Seema Shandil says this submission on behalf of the people has been triggered by the current practice where freight charges are determined in an ad hoc manner by the bus drivers and checkers.

Shandil says that there is an urgent need to bring in guidelines which provides clear demarcation of freight cost for transporting different products based on pre-defined parameters.

She says they have discovered that the drivers and checkers either look at the product or lift it to determine its weight which is then used to decide the cost for transporting the product.

Shandil says this practice places commuters at a disadvantage as there is no consistency in price determination and consumers have no choice but to pay whatever is being demanded.

The CEO is also calling on all consumers to make their voice heard by sharing their views on the issue with the Council.

She says while the Council always ensures that consumer voice is prominently represented in all submissions, they also want consumers to let them know about the issues which they are facing in relation to bus freight cost and what they think is the best solution.

We have sent questions to the General Secretary of Fiji Bus Operators Association, Rohit Latchan.

He is yet to respond.

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