The Consumer Council of Fiji has received several complaints where freight charges for transporting goods via inter-island shipping services have increased all of a sudden.
CEO, Seema Shandil says investigations revealed the price control order stipulated by the competition regulator was not being followed.
She says the staff of a vessel had determined freight costs just by looking at the item instead of weighing it and the receipts being issued by vessel operators was not itemized and did not indicate the size, type or any other information about the goods being transported.
Shandil says shipping companies are overcharging consumers by imposing exorbitant freight charges.
The Council is calling on shipping companies to immediately cease this practice and develop internal policies for freight cost in line with the Price Control Order on shipping charges and freight cost.
The current price control order for inter-island shipping freight charges allows vessel operators to charge prices for general freight based on either the volume or weight.
We have asked the Council to confirm how many shipping companies are overcharging consumers and whether any action will be taken against them. They are yet to respond.
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