Dear Editor – In a country where the institutions are fragile, it’s easier for sub-standard products finding their way in unfretted.
Normally these clone or counterfeit products, thanks to the wizardry of marketing, imitate world renowned brand names.
What actually happens is that they use those leading brand names on their packaging but the components of the product are a collection of parts from various emerging technological firms which strive to enter the ‘cash-cow” markets worldwide.
And where there is less scrutiny – that’s where they’ll ended up! Solomon Islands is no exception, and least to add, the worse of them all.
Take a look at the shops and hardwares outlets that nestled along the streets of Honiara, you’ll fine famous brand names – but by carefully looking at the packaging or body of the product itself, it’s obvious genuiness is far fletch.
Some countries in the Pacific, Fiji for example, do have institutions enacted to curb such malpractices.
In Fiji, they do have a Consumer Council whose mandate is to investigate consumer complaints, foreign language labels on product, and scrutinise the general price index in the shops whilst the Fiji Chamber of Commerce monitors bigger firms in various industries from colluding to monopolise the markets.
To date, the SI Ministry of Commerce, after subscribing to recommendations made in so many international conferences and seminars, falls short of coming up with any robust strategy to safeguard the general consumer populace.
IT products, for example, has become a concern amongst buyers of PC’s and laptops which normally do not last a year.
A check on the leading world renowned IT firms’ (e.g. HP, Toshiba, Acer, Apple etc.) websites, I suppose no firms in SI has any partnership member licence with these firms, and this would only mean…. To worsen the situation, gimmick product warranties, guarantees, and after sales support are the rules of the day for profiteering.
Uumh Solo ae, what taem nao u mi stret lelebet. C’mon SI lets not sleep on our laurels but be vigilant to prevent our country from being a dumping ground for counterfeit products flooding the country.