Complaints about certain schools explicitly telling parents to buy school uniforms from a specific trader - Shandil

Complaints about certain schools explicitly telling parents to buy school uniforms from a specific trader - Shandil

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 16/04/2022
Council CEO Seema Shandil.

The Consumer Council of Fiji says it is illegal for school heads and managements to engage in ‘exclusive dealings’ with businesses for the supply of students’ school requirements.

This is after they received complaints that certain schools explicitly told parents to procure school uniforms from a specific trader.

Council CEO Seema Shandil says the hallmark of exclusive dealings is that it disallows competition; leaving consumers with no choice but to purchase from a single trader often resulting in hiked prices.

She says in exclusive dealings the selected trader by the school sets the price of school items such as uniforms.

Shandil adds as a result, parents and guardians cannot look elsewhere for a bargain.

She stresses that this is because their choice has been restricted by schools.

Shandil further adds that exclusive dealings tend to create exclusive products which in turn makes the supplier more powerful in the marketplace.

She says this will then ultimately lead to anti-competitive behaviour by certain traders - in most cases this affects consumers as they are required to dig deeper into their pockets to pay the relevant price.

You can contact the Consumer Council of Fiji on their toll-free helpline 155 if you have any concerns.

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