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Monday, March 15, 2010

Retailers in B'lore take consumers for a ride - 2

Read Retailers in B'lore take consumers for a ride... first.

And some more episodes:

1. Foodworld: charged higher than MRP on packaged goods. Stock on the shelf is old, while the price on the system is new.

2. Central: charged higher than MRP on packaged goods. Stock on the shelf is old, while the price on the system is new.

3. Central: double billed, i.e. the same item was billed twice during checkout. Got the store manager to write "wrong billing" and sign on the bill this time.

4. Spencers: Bought a clothes drying rack. Came home, removed Spencer's sticker and voila! the MRP written below was far lower, and had been painted over with black ink. This is by far the most interesting case: blatant disregard for laws, overcharging on MRP, fraud... ah my mouth is watering.

Anyway, evidence collection is going on good. I want to take multiple retailers to court at one shot. No point in doing this one by one.

Now what would make this a very powerful case is to try for a class action suit, or what is known as a public litigation. If you would like to be a part of this case, do please let me know. You would not need to do anything, except be able to show me proof / and or an affidavit showing one or more cases of cheating / fraud / double billing / over charging on MRP / not given freebies / whatever, and I will do all the court running around. Now for all the lazy bones who wont lift a finger to help themselves, is that a good deal or what?

Friday, January 01, 2010

Retailers in B'lore take consumers for a ride...

...and consumers in B'lore are enjoying it.

Time and again, I've found clear cases of cheating and fraud by all the big retail names in Bangalore: Foodworld leads the list, but the others (Reliance, Spencers, Spar, Monday 2 Sunday) are not far behind.

Sample Foodworld's blitzkrieg advertising, with banners hanging everywhere: "lowest prices for vegetables in B'lore". Once at a Foodworld I bought some veges under such an offer. Then stepped across to the Monday 2 Sunday next door and what do I find? Almost all the veges that I'd bought were cheaper there. Went back to the Foodworld and forcefully returned all the veges I'd bought. The manager had no excuse to make.

Other cases at Foodworld: the price on the shelf will show a price lower than MRP as a "special offer", the price at check-out will be the MRP. This is quite common. The price sticker for items not carrying MRP will show something, the price at check-out will be higher. For this kind of stuff I have the usual remedy: call the manager, make a racket in front of other customers, finally get the lower price in all cases.

I have already posted about Liquor sold above MRP. Found this in both Spencers and Foodworld. Still following that up.

Another case is where some freebie is being given by the manufacturer, one has to be aware and remember to take it. Its not going to be given by the store with compliments.

Latest incident at Spar: while billing I found that 2 items has been charged over MRP. And a discount that was supposed to be given was not given. Called the manager, created a racket in front of other customers, got the money back and apologies, etc. Got some senior manager's name and address. Will send in a written complaint.

And so and and so forth :/ Sample another post by Neeraj here: Two examples of how retailers are looting customers - Total Mall Sarjapur Road and Vishal Mega Mart Hosur Road.

Why do retailers cheat and commit such small fraud? Quite simple: because YOU dear consumer are allowing them to. The retailers have found that they can get away with it. Consumers don't care. Or if they do, they cant be bothered. I s'pose consumers in India (or at least Bangalore) think its below their dignity to fight when their modesty is being violated.

Why are consumers here so apathetic to their own condition? Why don't people shout, abuse, threaten? Hell, why don't people even check their bills at check-out? If they would be even aware that they are being cheated, perhaps they would shout, abuse and threaten. But most of the times, I see people wheeling fully loaded carts to check-out, standing around chatting while the billing is being done, then swiping their cards and walking out. Where does such trust come from? Or is it too demeaning to check that the prices are correct, that the discounts are being applied, that the freebies are being given?

Well, if consumers are so naive then they deserve to get fooled. After all, caveat emptor. Unfortunately, all this behavior does is increase corruption in an already corrupt country.