Businesses advised to be responsible, ethical

|     Danial Norjidi     |

THE Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE), Ministry of Finance and Economy through the Competition and Consumer Affairs Department advised book and school supply retailers to practise responsible and ethical retailing by providing good value and moderating price of school supplies, to drive sustainable domestic consumption and business growth.

According to a press release from JPKE, the advice was given to retailers during several recent visits to bookstores, as consumers’ spending on school-age children is expected to rise in this back-to-school shopping season.

JPKE also highlighted that ethical business practice will boost domestic customers’ loyalty and retailers’ reputation.

It notes that, with less than a week before the school term begins, parents and guardians are busy doing back-to-school shopping for school supplies, with many choosing the convenience of purchasing under-one-roof, which may also include school uniforms, shoes, bags, and stationery.

“While retailers are offering convenience of shopping for parents, JPKE would like to remind parents and guardians to get value for money supplies by comparing prices and quality, and avoid overspending by managing their budget,” the press release stated.

JPKE officials during a regular check to a bookstores. – JPKE

“Consumers are reminded of their rights and responsibilities to seek clarifications from the retailers or sales representatives on prices or products if there are any doubts.

“Consumers are also advised to keep proof of purchase such as receipts in case of any required follow-up after the purchase, and also to study the terms and conditions of purchase, particularly for electronics items.

“Businesses are also reminded to display price tags clearly on items to ensure price transparency and enable parents to make choices and price comparisons.

“This is required under the Price Display Regulations, failing in this can face a penalty of not more than BND1,000 after one warning notice. While subsequent offence can be prosecuted and the offender will face a maximum fine of BND20,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.”

In conjunction with the Brunei Salebration 2018, participating businesses are encouraged to offer their best deals and creative discounts to promote shopping in Brunei.

JPKE also encouraged the public to make use of the PenggunaBijak/SmartConsumer mobile application, which is downloadable for free on iOS and Android devices. The application provides a platform for consumers to lodge a complaint of any unethical business conduct that will be channelled directly to JPKE.

For any feedback, complaints or queries related to consumer protection and competition issues, the public can also contact JPKE via telephone 2230223 (during office hours); via email at consumercomplaint@jpke.gov.bn; or walk in to Competition and Consumer Affairs Department, Department of Economic Planning and Development, Room 3.06, Level 3, West Wing, Block 2A, Jalan Ong Sum Ping, BA1131, Negara Brunei Darussalam.