Guardian Pharma responds 2!

Having well-placed acquaintances is a lot more effective than bitching on the Internet alone… where Big Corporations are concerned and where the blogger (moi) is restrained n factual with my grouses.

I’ve been writing about my price problems with Cold Storage since September and got increasingly disbelieving to be hit not once, but twice and then three times. At the same Great World City outlet to boot.

Then as if to raise the stakes, Cold Storage’s sister company, Guardian Pharmacy, also gave me a price problem, quickly followed by GWC fellow tenant, Watsons.

All these tales of price problems might have drawn me no more than sympathetic clucks from friends and strangers who visit this site — if not for the fact that a highly placed acquaintance was jolted (or possibly irritated by my constant bleating about being overcharged for basically low-priced household goods) enough to act.

This highly placed acquaintance started the ball rolling, details of which can be found in the post immediately be4 this.

Hence, hot on the heels of Cold Storage’s Mavis Ong contacting me, I got an email from guardian

No less than Alan S Nementzik CEO of Giant actually wrote last Friday!

apologies n gift offer
apologies n gift offer

 Needless to say, I declined the gift and added that I was dismayed to learn the cashier was given a letter of warning. It was — and is — never my intention to get the digits in a big operation into trouble when I write about my unsatisfactory encounters.

Rather, in the case of the Dairy Farm units, it was to suggest that something was awry in their systems, procedures and processes. I duly conveyed feelings to Mr Nementzik who duly huffed and puffed about cash machines being opened at will etc.. get the real flavour from his email repro below:


n then a lecture!

n then a lecture!

Click on the image to get the blow by blow account. What i find absurd is the explanation for the warning letter: “Our cashiers cannot simply open their cash registers without following procedures. If we have no control on these processes, the resultant shrinkage will be severe.”

Surely there must be other checks, including mechanical checks, to prevent or reduce shrinkage? Such as registering the number of times a cash register has been opened?

And why isn’t the cash register part of the computerisation system tie-in so that as a sale is registered the central stock will be simultaneously deducted?

Still, I will let sleeping dogs lie, as further arguments with the powers that are may cascade down to those least able to defend themselves.

I shall move on tho I shall continue to document any adverse price differentials I encounter at Cold Storage, Guardian, Watsons, wherever — here.

I would be truly delighted if my shopping can be done without my brain having to act as a bar code scanner at the shelves and then acting as a counter-check at the check out! That sure takes the joy out of shopping, especially where food is concerned.


8 thoughts on “Guardian Pharma responds 2!

  1. Sg is supposed to be technologically more developed than the UK, so why aren’t there computerised cash registers like over here where the register won’t open unless you key in a certain amount to be debited/credited.

    I also don’t understand the need for weekly price adjustments. How about monthly instead? If there is such a problem with managing ‘labour turnover’, then perhaps that may be a better way forward.

    I’m no manager nor management expert, but it seems like there are a few problems in that area.

  2. Areya: SG has many things to admire abt but in some instances we cld be quite backward. Retail service may be one of the 3rd world throwbacks. It’s only quite recently that cashiers/packers learned to separate the dry/cold/raw/wet goods… even then, one sometimes gets cans packed tightly with biscuits or with them sitting at the bottom of heavy fruits, cans etc.. likewise easily bruised fruits like strawberries, grapes etc could be used as the base and heavier stuff put on top..guess one way to have biscuit crumps n fruit juice without really trying, hehe!

    Back to the cash register excuse.. I thought it absurd anyway. I’m sure a cashier can’t just open and shut the till without some record being made automatically, tho I can’t say for sure cash registers here are as sophisticated as those in the UK. In fact, a distant relative living there who worked part-time in a pub told me once that it’s quite difficult to give away drinks without official sanction, since the pour and the cash register are computerised. No payment, means no drink; also the bar man can’t just pour more for a fav customer, as the amount of drink dispensed is also computerised. Is that true?

  3. Not too sure about the drinks bit. Perhaps it depends on the establishment. WRT packing, I’m so used to packing my own shopping at the checkout now that I don’t think I’ll let any of the supermarket staff back home to do it for me, especially after your comment! LOL

  4. Aiyoah Areya! If I pack the stuff I buy myself, I won’t be able to watch the cash register to see if I’m charged correctly! So between crushed biccies and bruised mangoes, and being wrongly charged, I take the former.

  5. And I thought that crappy packing only happens in grocery marts of Bali!

    Since I was a little girl, whenever I went out on grocery runs with my mother at NTUC (as it was called then, I think), my mother would show me the correct way to pack items in to the grocery bags. Some times, the packer who was doing it did such a good job, all I had to do was stand and observe how it was done.

    What happened to passing down knowledge from one generation to another? Oh wait, how about just having common sense of not putting a 1l carton of milk on to of the bananas and oranges?

  6. Pat, must hasten to say that dumb packing isn’t unique to any supermarket chain, including that which I’ve written extensively abt. It all depends on the multi-tasking cashier one gets. His/her training + whether they become embedded skills.

    When in Bali I didn’t supermarket much except at Bali Deli and Matahari. So will go by your judgement.

  7. Pei, the string of events — concerning the prices as well as Cold Storage and Guardian — is absolutely true. Or I won’t have dared named names and put up on a blog for all to see… it’s always good practice to check bills, esp dining bills and those with myriad items.

    My Cold Storage/Guardian/Watsons experience has reinforced that general belief. Strangely, I’ve never had problems at Fairprice but mayb it’s because I don’t shop there a lot, for various reasons, including lack of plentiful parking lots at the times I want to shop.

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