I’m beginning to suspect I’ve become something of a nemesis to the cashiers at Cold Storage Supermarket at Great World City.
You see, I once again discovered a price discrepancy for one item, between what was posted on the shelf and what the cashier charged at the check-out when he scanned the item.
I never imagined I would once again find such mis-pricing, at least not so soon, at least not at the same supermarket, for heavens’ sake!
On two occasions in September I found that I was charged more than what was shown on the shelves and had blogged about that:
So, you could have knocked me down with a feather last Saturday when on a hurried sortie to pick up some items for the larder, I was again over-charged, this time for a litre of Pacific Natural Foods’ All Natural Hazelnut Milk.
Occasionally, as a change from Oatley oat milk, I treat myself to hazelnut milk, as much for a change as to stop my body from getting immune to one type of food.
Altho I buy the hazelnut milk infrequently I know the price very well as I have always thought it a bit odd that hazelnut milk should sell for less than oat milk, as I would imagine gm for gm, hazelnuts should cost more than oat.
But mine isn’t to reason why; mine is to buy.
At the check out I glanced at my receipt and was surprised to see that my litre of Oatley and the Hazelnut were priced exactly the same: $5.95. I queried the cashier and his reply was the standard:”The price has been increased.”
Tho the price difference was small I decided to march back, desite the weight of my two laden bags of grocery, to the shelves where other packs of Pacific Natural Foods stood and, using my trusty Nokia 6500, took a pix of the price on the shelf.
One part of me kept telling myself to let go; after all, it isn’t a lot of money. Another part of me was self-righteously indignant. It’s ridiculous. It’s the 3rd time. What are the odds of that happening 3 times to the same person at the same supermarket outlet?
All right, I’m not as brave as MK to tell pple on the MRT to give up their seats. I don’t as a rule make a fuss in a restaurant over the food or the service. But I think I can do something to make sure, whenever I’m aware, that a big supermarket chain like Cold Storage, a unit of MNC Dairy Farm, doesn’t get away with overcharging me.
And ta da! The pix showed the price as $5.65 but I was charged $5.95!
Triumphantly I went back to the cashier to “prove” that I was right but he was busy serving another customer who was buying two trolleys’ worth of goods. The woman looked familiar. I thought she might be a neighbour in my condo or someone I’ve seen be4 at the GWC food court where we go about twice a month.
Cold Storage cashiers probably have a system to summon help with “troublesome” customers because be4 I could go into a song and dance with the one who insisted that the hazelnut milk’s price had been increased, a strappy girl staff appeared, looked at my camera fone pix rather impatiently and then went off to check for herself.
She returned with a pack of hazelnut milk in her hand and mumbling about suppliers and prices, put the pack into one of my Cold Storage plastic bags which I had put in the space behind the cashier, as their weight was killing me.
It then dawned on me she was giving me an extra pack.
“Eh,” I said, “I’m embarrassed. I just wanted the price adjusted.”
“It’s our policy,” she said and in a tic was gone, so much so that as I was gathering my bags to leave, the cashier who had served me earlier turned round — he was done with the familiar looking woman who filled two shopping trolleys — and asked, “What did the supervisor say?”
“She’s giving me the box for free,” I replied and when he still looked uncertain, I added, perhaps a little (needlessly) defensively, “check with her if you don’t believe me.”
I went off a bit annoyed to have been put on the defensive. Though I don’t mind being given an extra pack to make up for the pricing mistake, I think it is too much to encounter not one but three errors within about six weeks.
If I were a Dairy Farm shareholder, I would be worried. Sure, supermarkets sell thousands of items but shouldn’t a greater effort be made to synchronise prices on the shelves and at the check outs?
Or do they rely on customers not to notice and “trouble makers” are fobbed off with a “reward”?
Well, it looks like Cold Storage isn’t alone — in mis-pricing, I mean. A told me it happened to her at Watson’s — and at different outlets while S wrote more lengthily about her experience at Suntec’s Carrefour where her purchase of yellow capsicums was charged at more than twice the posted price.
The moral is: keep a close eye on prices when you are shopping, especially in supermarkets where because of the long check out queues, cashiers could make genuine mistakes while their employers are tardy with price updatings.
Yes, it’s a pain to double check, especially when the wait has been long, the trolley is full and some fellow customers may give you, at kindest, quizzical looks, as if to say “aiyoh y so ngeow”?
I think that’s probably what the lady who shopped till she filled up two trolleys thought about the exchange I had with the cashier serving her. Incidentally when writing this post, I suddenly recalled that she is none other than Dr Gillian Koh, an academic often appearing on TV programs to give her five cents worth.
Afterword:I think this wrong pricing business is going from absurd to ridiculous; Cold Storage is either raising prices so fast that they don’t have time to adjust or their floor staff are so short-handed or damned lazy, at least at GWC.