The company specialises in assembling wooden prefab homes using white Romanian or Estonian pine, selected from natural forest. (Eco Villas)
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(Seychelles News Agency) - A local construction company in Seychelles, Eco Villas, must refund the cost incurred for two houses after the board of commissioners of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) ruled in favour of the complainants.
The chief executive of the FTC, Francis Lebon told SNA that "we had two cases brought to the commission this year against Eco Villas. In both cases, the main issue was with termites, where the clients claimed they were not given the quality of the product they had expected."
Eco Villas, a construction company that offers prefab houses, was set up in 2008 by Italian national Andrea Colucci. The company specialises in assembling wooden prefab homes using white Romanian or Estonian pine, selected from natural forest. The wood then goes through a natural drying process, under strict temperature and humidity controls, and this takes over nine months to complete before the wood is ready for construction.
In the first case, Eco Villas was ordered to refund SCR328,800 ($24,836) to the complainant and in the second case, the ruling to refund was for SCR459,000 ($34,707).
The owner of Eco Villas, Colucci, told SNA on Friday that his business has been drastically affected by these cases.
"Since these cases came to light, we have not received one new contract and it's a shame because since we came to Seychelles, we have built 45 houses, where only these two have reported problems," said Colucci.
He said that when he brought his product to Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, he wanted to be able to build beautiful wooden houses that are also very eco-friendly and his intention was never to sell a bad product.
"Since the cases were brought forward, we have had to re-evaluate our product and have now decided to use steel frames rather than wood, but stick to the same design concept for our houses," said Colucci.
Building a concrete house in Seychelles can be a slow process, taking several months to a few years to complete depending on the availability of materials and reliability of workers. In comparison the prefab method is faster, taking up to three weeks to hand over the house.
SNA contacted the clients in the two cases; both declined to comment on record.
Eco Villas Seychelles have said that they have appealed the decisions taken against them.
Meanwhile, FTC continues to encourage contractors and service providers to ensure that they provide quality service and products to their clients.