Businesses inhibit choice by stating “preferred supplier”

January 18, 2021

Businesses must refrain from advertising that they are the “preferred supplier” for uniforms for certain schools as it provides the illusion that they are the only suppliers available. Parents are advised to disregard such advertisements and purchase their children’s needs according to their affordability and choice.

This comes after the Consumer Council of Fiji discovered that certain businesses are using the phrase “preferred supplier of school uniforms” in their advertisements as a marketing tactic to lure consumers. Council’s Chief Executive Ms Shandil said that this is not the time for businesses to employ such marketing tactics given that many Fijians are still reeling from the devastating effects of TC Yasa and the COVID 19 pandemic.

Parents in particular are being reminded that it is not mandatory to purchase their child’s uniform from a particular trader, hence shop around to get better deals. They may even opt to have the uniforms stitched by reputable tailors – if it proves to be cheaper. However, if parents opt to get uniforms stitched by tailors, they must ensure uniforms are stitched according to the patterns or the designs set by the respective schools so that the colour, and other intricate aspects of the uniform complies with the particular school’s requirements.

The Council is urging consumers to do comparative shopping while also reminding businesses that consumers have the right to choose therefore, they should not engage in practices which breaches consumer rights. Consumers are encouraged to contact the Council on toll free number 155 or email to report any incidences of unscrupulous practices. Alternatively, consumers can lodge their complaints using the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app.