JIS News

The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) will be conducting a textbook survey this month, which will provide the public with a price list of books available in stores across the island. The aim is to help parents better plan their budget for back to school shopping.
“The Consumer Affairs Commission conducts a text book survey each year, where we publish the prices of books available in bookstores right across the country, and we do that at the beginning of August (the survey) and then a final one closer to the opening of school,” said Dorothy Campbell, Communication Officer at the CAC.
She told JIS News that at the conclusion of the second survey, a price list would be published. “We usually ask the goodwill of the media houses to assist us in advising the parents and the public about these prices,” she noted, adding that the information will also be made available at the CAC’s website @ www.consumeraffairsjamaica.gov.jm.
According to Miss Campbell, parents often call the CAC to find out the cost of books from a particular location and “we will normally look through our data and give that parent the information. We have been asked several times over the years to do that and so that is also an option”.
Meanwhile, she said that while two surveys would be conducted, only the information from the second survey would be made public, with the first research to be used only for analysis.
As to why the survey was not conducted earlier, Miss Campbell explained that “we usually have to work with the bookstores and when those books are on display and available. There is no point in doing the survey when the supplies are not there”.
She noted however that, “we do not ask parents to wait (until the survey is finished) as you can only benefit from shopping early”.
In the meantime, Miss Campbell is encouraging parents to take along the booklist they receive from the schools when they go shopping, to ensure that they purchase the correct text.
“You might see a book that seems familiar on the cover and the author and title are the same, you pick it up only to find out that it is not edition three, it is edition four. You have to be careful about purchases like that, because a book is something very delicate. It is very unlikely you will pick up a book, open it, and not soil it. We cannot hold the vendor liable for that,” she pointed out.
She said however that if there was an obvious error on the part of the parent, the CAC would try and persuade the vendor to exchange the book.