CAC to increase surveys
The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) will be increasing the number of survey-monitoring exercises that it usually conducts.
This is to ensure that consumers are aware of what is happening in the marketplace and can therefore make informed choices.
The commission's move is in response to concerns expressed by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller about the impact the sliding Jamaican dollar is having on prices.
Responding to queries from The Gleaner, Latoya Halstead, director of communications at the CAC, said the results of the surveys would be made available on the commission's website at www.cac.gov.jm as well as in its Consumer Alert publication.
"In addition, if consumers observe excessive pricing traits, they are encouraged to contact the CAC to carry out further investigations," she said.
Halstead noted that currently the CAC does not publish the Consumer Alert pull-out in the local newspapers on a continuous basis due to budgetary constraints.
"However, when discrepancies and excessive prices are found based on surveys conducted, every effort is made to publish the Consumer Alert," she stressed.
Halstead also assured the frequency of these publications would be increased in this financial year.
She noted, however, that shoppers can keep a tab on the current best prices for their groceries and other goods by using the CAC'S grocery basket price enquiry and outlet prices comparison tools, both of which can be found on its website.
She explained grocery information provided online is current to February 2013 as it relates to individual entities.
compare and select goods
Consumers can also call the CAC to compare and select goods within two or three outlets.
"The result will provide a general guide for the average price of items," she said.
"Thereafter, the trend would give an indication of which outlets would have lower rates in future."
The commission also encourages consumers to look for the best deals possible and scale back on things they don't need.
"The reality is that consumers have less spending power and have to shop based on price and affordability."
For more information contact the CAC at
940-6154 (Montego Bay)