Several emailed back, some with rather quirky reminiscences that I think would interest the wider Net community. So I reproduce below the best of the catch, starting in alphabetical order with “A” (really her name does start with the letter A):
“A” wrote:I just returned from Hong Kong (took advantage of my daughter’s study trip for another round of holidays), and let me tell you something about prices there.
“I picked up a pair of pants from a bargains tray at Stanley market shop under the watchful eye of a salesgirl. The price tag was $59.90 but the sales poster was $10. Feeling a bit confused I asked the girl if everything in the tray was going for $10 each and she replied in the positive.
“When I made payment, I confirmed the price with the cashier saying $10? She hollered to the salesgirl and a loud exchange followed. My cantonese is very limited but I got the impression that the pants cost $59.90 not $10. Someone must have dropped them into the bargains tray.
“But because I had picked them from the tray and had confirmed the price, they honoured my purchase. Wouldn’t you like this?” (But of cos! Who won’t?)
The word from Prof C in Kuala Lumpur went like this:”I enjoyed your Cold Storage encounter. It reminded me of my brush with the 7-11 (on Bencoolen Street) selling me an outdated SingTel phone card.
“I told you about it when we had lunch at the nyonya food place, and you very kindly brought it to the attention of someone you knew at SingTel who then instructed his staff to contact me to advise how I might get the phone card replaced at no cost.
“When I returned to the 7-11 to have the phone card replaced, I stupidly assumed I would get a current one and so did not check to verify.
“To my horror, I found later that I was given (the second time) another outdated card. I was too embarrassed about my own stupidity and gullibility to bother to return to the 7-11 to demand a proper SingTel card. Perhaps I should be a bit more persevering, like you!”
The tales from E in Toa Payoh are even scarier: “let me share dis scary shopping experience wich occureed a few months ago……
“one weekday afternoon, abt 3pm i needing a few shallots n big onions, i walked to a provision shop 7nins away. after selecting my items i went to pay the towkey nio, seated at the cash till n handed her my $50 note.
“the items cam to $1, so i was surprised when she gave me back the change of 2 $2 notes. immediately i pointed out 2 her dat i had gvn her a $50 bill. but without a moment’s hesitation she pointed to a $5 note on the table jus in frt of me (wich i had not noticed until then) n said that it was wat i gave her.
“unfortunately, there was no one else around so i had no witness. but fortunately i had only brought that piece of note n no other , bcoz i had wanted to break it, n dat was why i cud remember clearly it was a $50 note; also i had folded it neatly n i was sure i cud recognise it by the crease even tho i din kno d number. (i dun thk she had d time to smooth the crease out)
“so i asked to allow me to look into her till. but she refused n insisted dat i had only gvn her the $5 bill. i knew it was fultile to argue, so i jus said to her that i was going to report this matter to the police who were only a short walk away n i asked her once more to gv me the right change.
“when she refused, i started walking in the direction of the police stn n then she called me back n gave me my $49 change saying lamely dat she forgot(how weak is dat!)
“the swiftness with wich she pointed me to the $5 on d table told me she has done dis many times b4 . there r lots of hapless old aunties n uncles in toa payoh who may hv bin n who will continue to b her victims.
“the moral of dis story is—-make sure there r ppl around and/or choose outlet carefully when changing a big note.
“this strategy has also happened to a fren of mine with a foodcourt cashier who also said my fren gave her a $5 note. but in his case, since he din wan to persue the matter, he actually paid almost $50 for a cup of coffee (for me) n a can of barley for himself. OUCH !
“J” wrote: “Thanks for alert. Must check my bills next time… seldom do….
Right now, a little put off / concerned by / about apples browning instantly on 1st bite/cut. Asked Cold Storage cashier and she said “Thanks for alerting me… maybe it’s your knife!” 🙂
“The organic (I think) ones on my Hobart friend’s garden stay yellow for longer..”
The take from “S” is as follows: “Read your blog and am really amused that you should be so “lucky” to strike the wrong prices three times in a short duration and at the same supermarket outlet! Now had they been Toto draws and you strike the top prizes 3 times in a row, you will be rich hahaha.
“I think many shoppers, especially if they have a long list of purchases, would tend not to check their receipts and more so if the queue behind us is long. Although we have every right to do so before we leave the check-out counter, as Asians, we somehow feel “pai-seh” to hold up the queue.”
The last word goes to someone I’ve affectionately nicknamed Sibu Pacik but he actually goes by the nik of Suituapui or STP on the net. He kindly sent a comment to my post which I reproduce for those who don’t delve into the comment section of posts:
“I never bother to check so I do not know how many times I’ve been cheated. I still prefer the old price tags instead of the barcode…and sometimes the workers would stick the wrong ones and the thing would be sold at unbelievably low prices.
“We still have that in the mini-supermarkets and grocery stores and these days we will see sticker upon sticker…according to the rising prices.”