Be careful in back to school shopping

Parents are to be mindful when shopping for back to school supplies for their children.

Two officers from the Consumer Affairs Division, Jo-ann Peters, press information officer, and Ashadie Browne, senior price control inspector, delivered the caution on OBSERVER AM yesterday as they advised the general public on the challenges one can face in making back to school purchases.

“Ensure you have a budget, do an inventory check of items that can be reused so that you can try to maximise your dollar as much as possible. However, what the division sees in the month of September, there is a number of back-to-school related complaints,” Peters explained.

She added that the Sale of Goods Act ensures that items for sale are up to satisfactory quality and they must be as described on the packaging. Consequently, even during a sale, traders must explain to consumers if an item is defective. She said that by having this information, the buyer is able to make an informed decision regarding purchase.

Peters further stated that if defects are not identified to the consumer and are realised after the sale, then the division will go to the trader since the trader would be at fault in that situation. However, if defects are pointed out before purchase, then there is nothing that the division can do to help the consumer.

She also highlighted that signs which suggest no refund and no exchange on sale items are very misleading. The official said that as long as the item is defective, consumers are eligible for a refund, an exchange or store credit.

Peters informed parents to be wary of sending their children to do their own shopping since children may purchase items based on their own likes and preferences and not necessarily functionality of the item. She said that retailers are under no obligation to refund or exchange items under these circumstances.

Browne added that parents need to be very careful when they buy sale items. She said that a lot of those items lack quality and therefore shoppers should check the material that items are made of to ensure that the item will not go bad shortly after it has been put to use.

(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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