Fair Trading Commission of Seychelles urges vigilance on illegal, unfair practices
Lebon presented the annual report for 2020 to the Minister of Finance Naadir Hassan on Monday. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) of Seychelles is urging consumers to know their rights so as ensure that they do not fall victim to unfair and illegal practices.
The chief executive of the Commission, Francis Lebon, made the statement after he presented the annual report for 2020 to Minister of Finance Naadir Hassan on Monday.
"We at FTC need to ensure that consumers can educate themselves and research on the things they buy, to ensure that they make the most informed decisions to avoid having to purchase an expired or defect product and to know their right when dealing with services," said Lebon.
The annual report states that during 2020, FTC received 169 complaints from consumers, 89 of them coming from services, while 80 of them were for goods purchased.
"The most prominent category of complaints came from construction and architectural services, from which 51 complaints were received, while 62 cases were recorded for electronic goods," he added.
Lebon also pointed out that there was a slight increase in complaints in 2020 compared to 2019, although they were still much lower than in previous years.
The total value of service cases amounted to over $1.3 million (SCR20 million), while that of goods cases was over $102,000 (SCR1.5 million).
"We do however have a number of challenges and constraints, which we hope to deal with in the coming years, such as the time it takes for appeal decisions to be made, the lack of manpower, resources and the time it takes for cases to be dealt with," Lebon added.
He said that FTC is working on a new law expected to be gazetted in September.
"At the moment, it takes quite some time for our cases to be dealt with but with this new law that we hope to have in place next year, it will enable us to give out fixed penalties, which will be much faster," said Lebon.
He also pointed out that consumers are also helping the commission a lot, through the reporting of cases, where around 70 percent of inspections came through tip-offs received.
A copy of the annual report is available for download on the FTC's website at www.ftc.sc .
Established in 2019, the FTC's objectives are to promote efficiency and competitiveness among and improve the standards of service, quality of goods distributed and services supplied by business enterprises and service providers.