With Valentine’s day just around the corner, it is no doubt that businesses are launching their best strategic marketing campaigns targeted at capturing both the hearts and wallets of consumers. Consumer spending surrounding this popular occasion is tremendous. 

Whilst this is the one day of the year when millions find a
way to show their loved ones they care; the Consumer Council of Fiji is urging
consumers not to get tempted by fancy advertising gimmicks for Valentine’s day
and spend their hard-earned money on things that are not important and not
needed. Consumers should not spend beyond their means.

Consumers are advised not to get caught up in gimmicks used
by some devious and unscrupulous manufacturers and retailers to exploit them.
Some popularly used gimmicks are free gifts; special offers; price slashing,
“easy to win” contests and attractive packaging. Many consumers have found
themselves actually paying high prices for products that come with

“free” gifts. 

With the increase in the trend towards online shopping, the
Council encourages consumers to be savvy shoppers and ensure ample time is taken
to read the fine print before submitting order. Consumers are urged to look for
the return policy to ensure that there is room for consumer recourse in the
event of a consumer complaint. 

Consumers planning to enter into a hire-purchase arrangement
or are in the process of obtaining a loan to purchase a loved one something
special, it is important that terms and conditions are scrutinised carefully to
avoid disappointments later on. Consumers are also urged to keep copies of all
receipts which will assist in the redress process in case problems arise with
goods and services. 

The Council is calling on consumers to exercise
assertiveness in questioning about prices and quality of goods and services. As
long as consumers remain passive, consumers will continue to be exploited. 

It is also important that consumers to be aware of and
understand consequences of their consumption and purchase on the environment.
We should recognise our individual and social responsibility to conserve
natural resources and protect the earth for future generations. 

The Council is reminding consumers to be cautious,
practical, and wise as they plan Valentine’s Day by focusing on the true
meaning of the occasion. Remember – focus on the essence of the occasion by
spending time with the special one.  

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