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MTED received complains of price gouging

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 24/04/2020

The Consumer Affairs Division of the Ministry of Trade and Economic Development has received numerous complaints regarding the prices of goods from the store especially during the lockdown period. In a televised program of the Ministry this week, it was revealed that most of the complaints received were on prices of goods increasing on a daily basis.

An officer from the Consumer Division – Mele Kava says, they’ve received complaints from the public regarding the prices of goods they bought from the stores during the lockdown – as prices differ in various stores in the country.

Kava adds, it is important for the store owners to keep their receipts and to keep their prices on the normal rate, NOT over the price set by the Tax Competent Authority.

She also reminded the businesses that it is illegal to impose new prices on the goods they are selling and those that will not comply will pay a certain fine.

She also reminded the public to be cautious of goods they buy from the stores and to ensure they keep receipts issued to them in order to address similar issues of complaints made by them in the future. The concern is because most of the businesses and retail stores use a calculator for calculating the costs thus resulting in many problems including not giving their consumers the right change over what they bought.

However, Kava says, they’ve held trainings with businesses and store owners emphasizing to them the need to keep their receipts and to also issue receipts to their consumers when needed, as there are penalties in place for those who do not comply.

© Radio and Television Tonga News