Friday, June 12, 2009

Giant Hypermarket - Wrong Price for Shallot(Onion)

Dear Consumers,

I always have problems on price tags at supermarkets and starting from today, I will put it on the blog the moment I catch one. Have ever experience the same thing before? I usually get this kind of mistake and it makes me even more mad when it is an everyday item that you buy. (e.g - eggs and onions).

Please take it as a serious matter because we have to think on a broader scope. Don't think like "oh, it's only 5 cents". FYI, 1 type of hypermarkets have an average of 100,000 customers a day! And if you times it with only "the 5 cents" it will end up being RM5,000!!!!

Imagine, how many personnel they can pay? So if you're correcting one mistake, you're actually making a big difference. Please make sure that consumers like you and me do the right thing and stop these "thieves" from taking our "5 cents" or more.

Yesterday, I went to Giant Shah Alam and I was shopping to buy some raw food because one of my old friend might be coming over to my house for dinner. I was shopping and the price for "India Shallot" is stated on the cupboard shown below -

"Picture not available anymore"

It is RM2.49 and at the counter, it end up being RM2.69. Please view the picture below-

"Picture not available anymore"

20 cents!!! Can you believe this!!! Onions!!! How many of us buy onions??? Yes! Everyone who cooks!!! I immediately go to the Customer Service Counter and asked them to correct it!!! What they did??? The usual phrase "Sorry sir, we shall give back the balance difference"

Beware!!!! Let say out of 100,000 consumers yesterday, 20% bought the onion.

20% out of 100,000 = 20,000 consumers

20,000 x 0.20 = RM4,000.00

If they already did it for the past 1 month?

30 x 4,000.00 = RM120,000.00

Do the right thing! Correct the problem. When you think of it, is there any law for these hypermarkets that are stealing from us? What do you think? Please comment.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Paying TOLL - Be Aware!

I have been quite busy lately and posting something on this blog has been quite hard. I sincerely apologize and will try my very best to post some good things on consumers rights at least every week.

Have your money been STOLEN before after paying the toll? I went outstation last week to East Coast. FYI paying tolls are quite normal for us Malaysians, especially if you're living in the city (Kuala Lumpur). There were no problem paying the toll on the way there. But on the way back, something went wrong and made me furious.

I always hear people complaining that sometimes the toll personnel do not give back the exact change. The amount(STOLEN) varies around RM0.10 to RM1.00. The best word to describe this incident is STEALING and these people are THIEVES!!!

Imagine how many they can "STEAL" a day -

1 Day = Approximately 5,000 cars pay the TOLL (his/her shift)

STEALS = RM0.10 (we take the minimum)

STEALS Daily = 5,000 X 0.10 = RM500.00

1 Month = 500.00 X 30 = RM15,000.00

1 Year = 15,000.00 x 12 = RM180,000.00

Can you believe this figure?!! These thieves are making more than an engineer(me)!!! Arghhh!!!

My sister was robbed RM1 last month and knowing that she already drove far, she just insisted on calling the toll office and the best thing they can say is "You can come to the office and we shall give back your RM1" "Please count the change every time before you leave the toll booth".

Tell me, who the h*ll have time to turn back, spend 30 minutes at the office to fill in the forms and wait for approval ONLY BECAUSE OF RM1!!! Or even RM0.10!!! The petrol itself cost more than that!!!

I have never been robbed before but last week, at the GOMBAK TOL (the last booth on your left hand side). The personnel give back my balance of RM4 (supposed to be RM5) in RM1 notes. I usually count the balance but thinking it was school holiday and the queue was very long plus "never been cheated before" I drove off.

Looking at the notes, I had the feeling to count it. I was stunned to know that it is only RM4!!! I immediately stop my car on the side of the road and walked to the booth counter. IT WAS MORE THAN 100 meters!!! I was furious and believe that this THIEF must be taught a lesson!!!

As I reach there, I scolded him and ask him to return back my RM1. He said "I made a mistake, I miscounted, I'm sorry" in a very pity way. I scolded him again, took his picture, and told him that I shall report him to the authority (just to make him scared).

Will the management do anything? What do you think? Or should I make a police report? Will anything be done for the stolen RM1? What if after the investigation they conclude that he really miscounted?(I bet that will be the answer) There is no strong evidence to put these thieves behind bars. They'll just slip away happily and start doing it again the next day.

What can we do?

Count the balance, take your time, then drive.
The other car behind, please be patient and do not horn. Because you'll be next and you will also want to take your time to count your balance too.

If the balance is wrong, be furious!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Buying Bread

I don't know if you consumers know or don't know this trick when buying bread. For you guys that don't know, make sure you take note because it's going to be very very useful.

Do anyone realise that there will always be 2 types of clip colour on the same bread brand on the same day?

Yup!! For instance you're going to buy a Gardenia Bread (very famous in Malaysia), go around the stacks and find those 2 color clip. It applies to other brand of bread too. But don't go and compare the clips with one brand to another brand, of course they differ! And don't compare today's and tomorrow's clips, of course they differ too! Make sure it's the same brand on the same day.

The trick is simple, each color shows a different expiry date. Let me ask you, if you have an option to buy something as below, which would you buy?

(A) expiry date - 23rd May 2009
(B) expiry date - 24th May 2009

Of course it'll be (B) rite?! Why buy something that's going to expire early? That is exactly my point! One of the color clip will expire a day earlier, so check first then buy. Simple!

I repeat, the steps are -
1) Pick a brand you would like to buy
2) Search for the two color clip
3) Choose the one that expires last

Anyone done this before?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

No Turning Back...

This topic might make you readers think what does it have to do with Our Rights. Lol!

I would like to talk about things or services that you bought and cannot do anything if something bad happens along the way. Hmmm...Maybe I'm not being so clear about this topic. Let me just give you 2 examples then-

Example 1:
Your photographer came late for your wedding ceremony. They were supposed to come at 8am to take photographs of "the special moments" before the ceremony but end up coming late!

Example 2:
You ordered cupcakes online for a gathering, agreed to pick it up at 2pm tomorrow. The moment you're there to pick up the order, the baker forgotten and ask you to come at 4pm!

These are examples of "No Turning Back" cases because there are no options at the end if s**t happens.

For example 1, it happened previously at my friends wedding. He was so pissed off! Can you imagine that happening to you? The most memorable day of your life wasn't captured! What options does he have? He already paid a deposit for it. He cannot say "get out, I don't want you!" as it will be a waste and by letting them take photographs at least there's some high pixels pictures at the end of the day. Can he show that he's pissed? No! It will spoil the wedding mood.

For example 2, it happen to me and my wife. We were getting the cuppies on the way to the gathering and the baker told us she forgot and ask us to pick it up after 4pm. The best part is she asked us "Is it ok?". I was like "Hello! Do you see us having other options?". It's a pot luck gathering and are we suppose to go there empty handed? We already paid the full amount online! We end up saying 'ok'. So in the middle of the gathering we race back to the house shop to pick it up. Luckily....and thank god luckily it was near and the cuppies were quite cute too :) But what a waste of time!

After giving a good though of these 2 incidents. I can conclude that these "seller" lack of professionalism. Yes! Lack of Professionalism is the best word to describe these incidents. The best thing that you may get out of it is some discount. (Well, we didn't manage to get one though!)

How to prevent it from happen? Easy!!!!

First, make sure you call them again and again and again until they shout at you "I know!!!!, I remember!!!!, Please don't call again!!!!" And if they still cannot deliver!!! Definitely born stupid!!! (Sorry if you think that this word is inappropriate) May god have mercy on their souls!!!

Second, think back, it's a very important event and you may not even want one single glitch to happen. Pay more and hire a professional! Well, it's pricey of course but it will be worth every single penny. There's a saying "CHEAP thing not GOOD!, GOOD thing not CHEAP!" but this doesn't apply to all though.

Hey! Maybe I'll write something about this saying....

Any other ideas on how to prevent this "No Turning Back" situation?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Wrong Price Tags at Carrefour

How can this happen?? I feel pissed off when they put the wrong price tags! Please view the picture below -

"Picture not available anymore"

It's an item I always buy (red box) and the price should be RM8.20 per box! Do you think the picture is bad? See how lazy they are putting the price tags -

"Picture not available anymore"

The price tags are all RM10.99. I was shocked and called the person in charge and they change it back to it's normal price. The drama didn't stop there. They changed the price to RM8.70 for the red box. Please look at the price below -

"Picture not available anymore"

If we do the math right (I did it again and again just to make sure I'm not half crazy) it should end up like this -

1 bottle = RM 0.70
12 bottle = 1 Carton
1 Carton = 12 x RM0.70 = RM 8.40

I always buy this RO WATER and it always cost less if we buy a box (in this case, 1 carton = 12bottles) and now they are charging me more! For what? For a box that I will eventually throw away once I pulled out all the bottles as I reach home?

I talked to the Customer Service and all they can do is give my 30 cents back. As if I am buying the thing per bottle. Arghhh!!! Is it right for them to simply play around the price?

Carrefour have an average 10,000 customers each day. If 5% of the total customers bought a box of what I bought today? That will be each 500 customers being cheated off 30 cents and in this case, MORE! (Because the price I always buy is RM8.20)

Ladies and gentlemen, calculate the small figure into a month! and you'll end up having RM4,500.00!!!!! Enough to pay a Managers salary!!!!

How bout a year then? --> RM54,000.00!!!!!

Please think and act to small change because...
..."a little change, can change a lot!"

**Please comment**

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Carrefour - Pamphlet Incident

Carrefour is one of the largest supermarkets in Malaysia and my wife and I are big fans of Carrefour. The reason? The RO Water taste nice comparing it to Tesco and Giant. lol! This incident happened last year where the pamphlets distributed before entering the supermarket was printed wrongly. Two items, a Barbie Doll and a Remote Control Car was displayed on the 1st page of the pamphlet. The problem; the price was accidentally swapped.

And whose problem was it? It's their problem! A problem between Carrefour and the printing company appointed. And the most funniest part is, guess how they settled the problem? They photostatted the 1st page of the pamphlet on an A4 paper and displayed it ONLY on the Customer Service Counter. You might be imagining a counter full of A4 paper rite? Hell no! (Sorry, flashbacks makes me mad) They only put ONE A4 paper!

I always make a habit to take the pamphlet and browse through it to see which item matches our buying list (this time, they were distributing it!) So without any hesitation my eyes were automatically focused on the Barbie Doll as it was cheap (and printed big too). Our niece's birthday was just right around the corner and we were thinking that this was perfect timing!

At the checkout counter, drama happened! The guy told me that this price was impossible for the Barbie Doll. We waited as he double checked the price and end up bringing me another Barbie Doll and told me "The price your saying is referring to this doll, there must be a mistake on the pamphlet" Hello! That doll looks ugly! I don't want my niece end up thinking "I have a cheapskate uncle". Oh no!

This is where my communication skills kicks in. This is how the story goes (I altered it a little bit coz I bet you may feel boring if I put in the whole conversation, the whole process took almost 1hour)-

Me -"I will definitely won't take that doll because it is not the same picture in the pamphlet"

Counter Boy - "Yes, I can see. Can you please proceed to the Customer Service Counter(CSC)"

So I went to the CSC and a lady was there. I just realised the small photostatted A4 paper, according to them is the correction and I though it was totally ridiculous.

Lady - "May I help you sir?"

Me - "Yes please, I have bought this doll as per stated in the pamphlet and I end up paying more. As you can see, I am buying exactly the same as per displayed in the picture"

Lady - "We are sorry sir. We already made the correction here"
(pointing the one and only photostatted A4 paper in front of the counter)

Me - "How can this happen? I feel cheated"

Lady - "There were a problem with the printing company sir. We are very sorry"

Me - "Are you saying that your problem is also mine? Can you please call the manager?"

Lady - "Hold on sir"

So me and my wife waited for quite a while and when the manager came.

Manager - "Sorry sir, I was with another customer just now, may I know how may I assist you?"
I told him the same story again. Regarding the pamphlet, the price, that I felt cheated and as one of the biggest supermarket this kinda problem your facing with your printing company was not supposed to be put on your customer. A big waste of time, at the checkout, at the CSC, and waiting for you (When meeting the Manager, always make time as your bullet, it always hits a bulls eye). I end up saying -

Me - "You know what I will do? I will not approve the pamphlets and ask them to reprint. 'not my problem, your problem'. I don't know, if you accidentally accept it because you didn't realize the problem in the 1st place. I will stop distributing it"

You know what he did? He didn't do what I told him to. Surprisingly, he went to the CSC and took the photostatted A4 paper, and throw it away. Told the counter to follow exactly the price stated in the pamphlet. He thanked me and went off. WOW! Mr. Manager, I salute you!!!

I got a refund and everyone who bought that Barbie Doll on that day should come and thank me! lol!

So fight for your right!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I Bought an Expired Milk!!!

It was morning and I was on my way to Melaka to attend a meeting. I was quite in a rush preparing all the necessary things and I haven't had my breakfast yet. I'm a breakfast kinda guy and I definitely do not start my day before having breakfast...

I am not going to make history, so i decided to stop at the RnR (I was already on the highway though, so what other options do i have?). For readers outside Malaysia, RnRs are pit-stops through the highway that stands for "Rehat Dan Rawat" (Rest and Cure).

As time wasn't by my side, I just dropped by a Petrol Station Kiosk and grab a bottle of milk and a piece of bread. Taking for granted the printed expiry date, I took off from the Petrol Station and while driving i ate the bread. When it came to drinking the milk, it tasted kinda funny but there were no time to investigate why. I just thought that it was a brand that I am not familiar with. So I drank all of it!

After finishing it, I put it on the dashboard of my car and what a coincidence! The Expiry Date was straight displayed in front off me! I was like s**t!!!!! and Arrrrghhhh!!!!! I mentally felt ill and wanted to vomit. When I arrived to my checkpoint, I vomited!!!!

Moral of the story -
a) Don't be late for important meetings
b) Don't buy unfamiliar brands
c) Check The Expiry Date on what ever cause

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Check Everytime You Take Away from Restaurants

Have you ever ordered something and while you were heading back home you might probably be imagining yourself eating those delicious food while watching your favorite movie or sharing it with your love ones but lastly you end up opening it up to see something else! What a disaster!


I sometimes do it and some time do not. I wouldn't blame the restaurant 100% as sometimes it is truly a miscommunication between us and them or between them and them. Mistakes such as 'wrong order' happens very seldom and if you do the math right, the probability might come out less than 1%. But when it happens, we pay the price. Not them because the best they can do is apologise. We consumers need to hit the gas again to go back to the shop (gas=$). If the shop is too far away, we end up eating the unexpected. In other terms, we are being the victim! Is there any justice to this? Apparently, NO!

It happened to me and I guarantee that I am not alone in this matter. So what you gotta do? Check before checking out. It only take a few seconds to glance through the food you ordered and it will save your time, money and keep your appetite in the right mood.

Monday, March 23, 2009

MAKE A LIST Before You Head to The Store

This is like the simplest mistake that every Consumer does; NOT MAKING A LIST before going out shopping. Do you know that you might probably be spending 10 dollars more on each visit to the store. The one thing that we should know is that these supermarkets spend millions each year on consumer research. They know what the average Consumer wants, how they will react to certain stimulus and what will and will not catch your eye and make you buy a certain product over another.

This is one reason that the highest profit margin foods are placed at eye level. They make it easy for you to reach out and throw it in your basket.

Time and time again, studies have show that people who make out grocery list and spend as little time as possible in a Supermarket spend less money on groceries. Making a list before you go shopping can be the single BEST WAY TO SAVE MONEY when buying groceries.

Why? Not only do these people have a list, many will also put the list in order of their location in the grocery store. The more time you spend “window shopping” in a Supermarket, the more likely you are to buy something you don't need.

Change your way, change your attitude and change your ways of shopping. I made a very clear statement to my wife that we don't ever go out shopping without making a list 1st. Before going out to the Supermarket, check the kitchen, check the toiletries and discuss on what ever personal things that is NECESSARY to buy and make sure the supplies you plan to buy will last until the next scheduled visit to the store.

Make sure you also bring a pen or a pencil to tick on the things you already bought. This will keep you from turning back around to the same isle again. This shall minimize your "window shopping" eventhough it's a habit among us, we have to fight the temptation!

I accidently heard on the radio the other day, a man mentioned that he prefer to shop at a Mini Market compared to the Supermarket. Why? Still not getting the point? "Less exposure to the unnecessary but tempting groceries!!!"

Focus on the list and try not to diverge from it. We need to know how the Supermarket marketing game is played and know how to beat it.

So what have we learnt through all of this - MAKE A LIST!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What The Food Industries Doesn't Want You To Know

This thingy that I am going to write might surprised you very very very deeply. I got this from Malaysia Men's Health March 2009 issue. I hope to share it with all of you concern consumers out there.

Food manufacturers think we're stupid and we are going to prove them wrong! I'll just list down some few that I think that we fell for and let us be prepared for the future next time we read the labels of each item.

1) "Fat Free" is completely true, however these empty calorie junk foods are almost made up entirely of sugar and processed carbs.

2) The bottled green tea you're drinking may not be as healthy as you think it is. Some brands hardly even registered on the antioxidant scale.

3) Food companies don't want you to know that your food may contain maggots. FDA got limits but it ain't zero!

4) Cornflake manufacturers doesn't want you to know that their product are not as friendly as the "Diabetes Friendly" logo on the box's side panel suggests. Australian researchers have shown that carb-loaded cornflakes raise blood glucose faster and to a greater extend that a straight table sugar does. The guidelines are simply based on the American Dietetic Association and American Diabetes Association, and NOT ENDORSED by those organizations.

5) Oat breakfast producers don't want you to know that their "heart healthy" hot cereals have more sugar than a bowl of Fruit Loops. The fine print below the AHA logo meets the "food criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol". What does it mean? It means that it can contain a pound of sugar and still qualify.

6) The AHA certified food is a must pay thing. That's why u find two brands meets the guideline but only one of it has the certification.

7) Supermarkets don't want you to know that long checkout lines make you buy more. According to the research from the University of Arizona, you'll be 25% more likely to buy things around when your stuck in a long line. Haaaa!!! No wonder they put all those candies and sodas near the checkout point.

8) The food industry doesn't want you to know that food additives may make your kid misbehave. UK researchers found that some artificial food coloring and preservatives are linked to hyperactivity in children.

9) FDA is more likely to penalize a food manufacturer for overstating the net weight of a product than understating it. So they "generously" package more food. So if the package states it contains "X calories", it actually contains "more than X calories".

So people of the world, Beware!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Customers Rights

We sometime call ourselves "customers" and holds to the principle of "Customer is Always Right". But do we really know our rights as a customer? Just to make things clear, below i have listed down OUR rights and make sure we equip ourselves with this basic knowledge.

1) Rights to get our daily basic needs
- Consumers have the rights to get goods and services to satisfy their daily lives. Basic needs includes foods, clothes, house, health facilities, education facilities, and etc.

2) Rights to get safety and security
- Consumers will be secured from the process and marketing's of the goods together with the services that may be harmful.

3) Rights to get information
- Consumers must be given enough and precise information to ease their decision making while purchasing. Consumer will also be secured from any false advertisement, labeling and malpractice.

4) Rights to make decision
- Consumers will be sure to get direct information on various products and services. Consumers must be given enough information that will ensure his/her decision making. There MUST BE A GUARANTEE for the product or the service quality comprises with the price.

5) Rights to speak-up
- This is to ensure the consumer rights will get the proper judgement in the legislation of government policy, fast action and justification from the courts administration.

6) Rights to get refund
- Consumers have the rights to get a settling from the goods that are flaw or dangerous or even the incident of the merchandise is sold in a confused manner. We also have the rights to get a compensation for services that diverts or do not fulfill an agreement.

- A compensation must be given to a product or service that leads to injury to the consumers that follows the instruction of usage from the provider of the product or service. Compensation is also a must for consumers being a victim CAUSED BY THE CARELESS of the employer.

7) Rights to get education for consumers
- Consumers have the rights to get enough and continuous education on consumer rights. This is because the education system does not focus on being a good and informative consumer. Our system focuses more on how to be either a good employee or employer.

8) Rights to get a healthy and secure environment
- Consumers have the rights to live and work in an clean and healthy environment together with free of any hazards. This is always been lived-up among consumers as pollution is rising and our natural resources is getting short and wiped out.

Be sure you remember all these rights, because it is OUR RIGHTS.

Any incidents that may ring your mind on any incident and maybe you are not getting any of the above. Feel free to comment!