Complaints against construction companies are a major concern in 2018, according to the Fair Trading Commission of Seychelles

The Seychelles Fair Trading Commission has stated that the most common complaints received in 2018 involved people dissatisfied with services provided by construction companies.

According to the Commission, 214 complaints were lodged last year, 117 of which concerned the service departments. There were 97 complaints about consumer goods in 2018.

Fair Trading Commission General Manager Francis Lebon told SNA that "most of the complaints came from services provided in construction".

Although fines of up to USD 32,000 (CRS 434,000) were imposed on companies or individuals guilty of violating the Seychelles Consumer Protection Act in 2018, some of these cases date back to 2016 and 2017. Fines for cases in 2018 amounted to USD 8,795 (SCR 120,000).

Mr. Lebon said that cases that took two to three years to reach a settlement took longer because they are often more complicated and longer investigations are needed to reach a settlement.

The chief executive said that the number of cases dropped to 214 last year, from 294 in 2017. This decrease can be attributed to the commission's outreach and education program.

"When consumers are more aware of their rights and responsibilities, they can make decisions at their own level for the provider of goods or services," he said.

The Fair Trading Commission is an independent governmental body established under the Fair Trade Act 2009.

Its aim is to protect the interests of consumers, promote competition and fair trade in Seychelles for the benefit of consumers, businesses and the economy.

The Commission has the authority to conduct business conduct investigations to determine whether a business is engaging in practices contrary to the Consumer Protection Act, 2010.

With respect to fair competition in the market and between companies, Mr. Lebon said that the commission was doing its best to prevent unfair practices and cartels and that for that to happen, there needed to be strong evidence.

"Businesses and individuals should always think about fair trade when they sell a service or product to someone, while consumers should always look for good-value goods and services," advised M . Good.

On his expectations for the coming year, he said, "We want a high-performance FTC that will continuously gain public trust. I would also like to thank my staff for their work. "

Source: Seychelles News Agency