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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.


Neeraj Sharma said...

There are many examples. Day after day to day retailers in Bangalore from Big Bazaar to Reliance are trying to take consumers for a ride. If you do not check prices and your retail bill carefully you get cheated with wrong prices or over invoicing. Many times displayed discounts are not given for one or the other reasons. Some times we think difference is minor and not worth the argument. Things can not continue like this. Retailers have to improve on their quality of service, attitude towards consumers and they need to be accountable their own or held accounatble.

xylene said...

I always check my looong bill when I buy groceries. 60% of times I have found them either charging me more than the MRP, mostly for Sunflower oil. When I complain they apologize and retun my money.

Ravinder said...

I have fought at times when I have found a flaw, and got them to apologise for it. However, there is only one language that these cheats will understand best. Stop using their shops! Surely there are other vendors nearby?

Unknown said...

It is unfortunate that such happenings take place in Metro /IT city of India. Never had the same experience in Delhi. The shopkeepers/retailers are fair enough and have always got the necessary discounts, freebies and the offers being promised. In Delhi, consumers are more vigilant and consumer courts are more active. In B'lore, consumer activists should play a major role to put an end to such menace. Furthermore the consumers should be made aware of such practises through media.

Ms Sindhu Yadav,
Subject Matter Expert,
Choir de Law Pvt. Ltd.,Delhi

Unknown said...

@namita/Sindhu: thank you for your comment. I've had more troubling experiences after I wrote the above post. I'm preparing a consumer forum complaint to be filed this w.e. where the O.P. would be Spencers, Foodworld, Central and maybe 1 more. If you are reading this, would you be so kind as to contact me by email so that I might take some help from you. I am not new to forum proceedings, having won 2 cases earlier. Thanks.

Anonymous said...; You saved my day again.

Unknown said...

Thanks Zehawk for your response.In response to your reply comment I have written a reply mail addressed to your gmail account.You may kindly check.

Ms Sindhu Yadav,
Subject Matter Expert,
Choir de Law Pvt. Ltd., Delhi

Somanna said...

Do you speak Kannada? If not then consider yourself fair game.

Consider yourself lucky that you have not yet got into a accident here in namma bengaluru. The day you get into one, you will realize how locals gang up against you moment they realize you are a non-kannadiga.

Shiv Sena may make a lot of noise in mumbai, but an average marathi doesnt really hate outsiders.

This is not true of bengaluru or kannadigas. An average local here, would jump at the first opportunity to abuse you.

Anonymous said...

I chanced upon your blog today. All I can say is that what you are doing is commendable, to say the least. I pray with all my heart that you have success in each such effort. God bless you!