What would you do 2?

Yesterday I recorded the ridiculous encounter I had with a woman shopper behind me in the pay-queue at Carrefour in Suntec City.

Today, I want to share something equally ridiculous, though it didn’t involve a fellow shopper, unless you count those who stood and stared at me.

This was what happened. Several days ago, I had popped into Watsons at Tiong Baru Plaza intending to buy some hand soap. Then I remembered that I had more urgent shopping to do elsewhere.

I turned to leave when I spied a toothpaste offer: normal price of$8.40 cut to $6.55. I couldn’t resist, especially when the box was sealed. There was even the warning: “Do not accept if seal is broken”.

This is something that’s rare where toothpaste sold in Singapore is concerned. Most times, the tubes come without a box; worse, the caps have no seals either.

Naturally, i decided to buy the Parodontax toothpaste.

But I was surprised when i was charged the full price of $8.40!

Thinking I might have made a mistake, I went back to the shelves to check. Sure enough, the signs there were large as life, stating the selling price was $6.55, down from $8.40.

It’s the sort of mistake I’ve come to expect, having come across such errors from Cold Storage, to Fairprice, Watsons and Guardian, as regulars to this website would know from my various posts.

So I went back to the cashier to point out the mistake which as usual didn’t elicit anything more than a stare of disbelief, followed by passing of the buck from one supervisor to another.

Thereafter mistake confirmed, refund process kicked in. As I had paid cash I expected to be refunded the difference and that would be that.

Thus i was flabbergasted when be4 handing me the $1.55 refund, the supervisor handed me a small form, asking me to give my name and IC number and sign for the money.

That’s when I got irritated, very.

“I’m sorry, I won’t do it,” I said. “Why should I give you those details? It’s you who made the mistake, not me…”

Other shoppers stared.

The supervisor was adamant. I had enough and said forget it, I don’t want the toothpaste. Just give me back my $8.40.

She wavered but another supervisor strengthened her backbone, and she declared it was the company’s policy.

“I won’t sign and that’s final. Just give me back my money..”

She said she couldn’t; I said I won’t. We went on a bit like that for a couple of minutes when I nearly gave in. But she beat me to it. Handed me the refund, saying grudgingly: “You don’t need to sign…”

I walked away far from triumphant, as i had endured many curious stares during the exchange.

Worse, I had wasted some 5 to 8 minutes, all for $1.55. As one of my nephews said: “Your time so cheap, meh?” when i told him what happened.

Lagi worse, I also kicked myself for not having the presence of mind to oblige with a fictitious name and I/C number instead of engaging in a stupid argument. Why didn’t I do that? Doesn’t a stupid policy deserve this snub, unless giving a false identity is illegal under all circumstances?

Now tell me what you would have done in my shoes? 🙄


7 thoughts on “What would you do 2?

  1. Auntie Lucia

    I would normally not give me IC but would give home no and short name.
    The main purpose is because unfortunately as the computer systems are centralised, the company policy is enacted to prevent staff from simply giving discounts to their friends. It creates difficulties for staff and genuine customers (for error situations) and best way is to give complaints directly to the customer services manager at HQ.


  2. Thanks for sharing Uncle Wang. I thought it ridiculous because the sum is so small; it’s $1.55, not $15.50 or $155! While I too suspect it’s to do with cash control purposes, I consider the demand for I/C number way over the top, especially when the mistake is the retailer’s, not mine. A better way to control is ensure 99% no pricing mistakes. Then track each store for the number of refunds per day. Sure to catch fiddlers if the % of refunds vs sales is abnormally high. Or the pricing process simply sucks! Have a gr8 week ahead.

  3. similar thing happened to me once… ate at a jap place with my brother once… paid with a note that was torn and mended somehow, i hadn’t noticed… that was the only money i had so i insisted that they take it although they said the bank might reject it.

    they took it, but also asked for my name and hp number, and i gave them! after that my brother asked me why i gave them the real thing… i suppose i could have faked my details… but i didn’t >.<

  4. Quirky, forgive for saying this: I wld have done the same if I were the restaurant. Damaged currency is generally not acceptable becos MAS won’t accept it; so natch the banks won’t too. Haha, but another blur customer just might; that may explain why u didn’t get a call 😉 And all they asked of you was yr mobile number n name. Very customer centric leh!

    The —- Watson asked for my name + I/C number, which is a lot more cheeky. Also, it was their mistake in the pricing; not me under paying. Some stores not only give you a refund of the over-charge but also the promise to let you have another of the same purchase for free. At least that was the Cold Storage promise but it’s seldom carried out. And I don’t insist. Just gimme back what u overcharge — that’s all I ask and no nonsense abt names etc

  5. Hehe, me neither — lie, I mean. One of my bosses once said, my thoughts/feelings are always written all over my face — which makes me a lousy negotiator.

    As for currency notes, I make a point of handing back a patched note or a torn one, if given in change. In fact, I evenreject dirty coins much to disgust of food court stall holders, wet markets n even some supermarts when i pay in cash n receive change. Don’t dump yr dirty money on me is my motto 😆

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