Council issues warning to second-hand car dealers

The consumer watchdog has issued a stern warning to second-hand car dealers about enticing consumers after it discovered cases of a car dealer who was allegedly involved in such cases. Picture: FILE/ELIKI NUKUTABU

The consumer watchdog has issued a stern warning to secondhand car dealers about enticing consumers after it discovered cases of a car dealer who was allegedly involved in such cases.

Consumer Council of Fiji chief executive officer Seema Shandil said a prominent vehicle dealer in Suva was taking deposits for vehicles by assuring consumers that they would arrange financing for the procured vehicle.

Ms Shandil said the car dealer then used that assurance to convince consumers to make deposits for vehicles, without the dealer consulting with any of the financiers or checking the financial eligibility of the consumers.

“One of our major concerns regarding this particular dealer is that he deducts a staggering $1000 from the deposit, should the loan not be approved. This is utter rip-off of consumer’s hard-earned money, going into dealer’s pocket,” said Ms Shandil.

In a statement the council also urged consumers to refrain from committing their finances based on unsubstantiated promises such as securing loans from other financiers.

“If consumers see that there are unfair terms and conditions in their pre-sales agreement, they should raise it with the dealer or talk directly to the financiers before making upfront payments. While the council will continue to weed out such issues in the market place, consumers should also use their demand power to compel such traders to change their business practices.”

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