Consumer Affairs distorted facts
THE EDITOR, Sir:
An article appearing on the front page of your newspaper dated Tuesday, August 26, 2014 titled 'Textbook costs concerns CAC, education minister' misrepresented the facts as it relates to the 2013 and 2014 comparative price of the textbook Mastering World Religions by Ray Colledge.
It was reported in the article that information from the CAC survey of 2013 and 2014 revealed that the price of the book had been increased from $2,414.50 in 2013 to $4,456.67 in 2014, which translates to a massive 85 per cent increase.
The records we have on this particular textbook strongly contradict the figures released by the CAC. Throughout 2012 and until August 2013, the retail price of the text in question was J$3,029. There is no record showing that in 2013, the said book was sold at $2,414.50, as was claimed by the CAC through its survey.
New stock was imported in mid-2013 and was correctly priced at $4,458 based on the increased published price, and the prevailing foreign-exchange rate. This price remains in 2014.
Further, based on the article, it is evident that data for the survey were gathered at different book stores islandwide. The CAC must recognise that in comparing prices between book stores, it should give regard to the fact that different book stores in Jamaica will turn stock at different rates, which means that a store may have had the book for an extended period and might not have had the need to adjust prices, as it had not restocked. These variables must be taken into account to present a total picture.
We are fully aware of the enormous pressure that parents face at this time to properly equip their children to go back to school. We should attempt, therefore, in any way possible, to ease their anxieties and concerns by ensuring that information fed to them is as accurate as possible.
Sales and Marketing Manager