Tuesday, June 15, 2010

False Pricing at Large Retail Chains

Over the week, I have been in the common retail chains in Singapore, Carrefour, Ikea, NTUC, Courts and Cold Storage. As the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) is on, many items were on sale. I ended up buying quite a bit of stuff, and when I reach home after a shopping day, I found out that many items bought that were on sale, were full price on the receipt.

For example, in Ikea, a candle was on sale at $3.90 (members price) but when I bought 10 candles, and many other things, I checked that I actually paid $4.90 for each of them. As I happen to pass by the next day, I brought the candles back, and asked them about the price discrepancy, and the customer service replied that the offer was only for "Black" candles, although the sign was placed among all the candles.

I managed to get a full refund after returning them, as I did not want to but them at full price.

At Carrefour, I bought Mushrooms, Pasta Sauce, Pasta, Cheese, and various meat on sale, and at check out, I luckily checked the price, and EVERYTHING that I thought was on sale, was not actually. The sales staff was rather poorly trained, and they requested me to go to the customer service and tell them as it was my fault for buying the products.

At Customer service, half the items were on sale, but the "Information" was not updated on their "System" and the other half was the same thing, but they were not actually on sale, I pointed out that their sale signs were misleading, and I did not want to shop there anymore, and finally managed to get a full refund. I was no longer interested in the sale.

At NTUC, I bought many items on sale as well, and checked the price at check out. The mushrooms were on sale at $1.95, but at the checkout, it was $4.15. Many other items were the same as well, and half of my items bought seemed to be mis-priced. NTUC did not even want to refund when I returned all them items as there seemed to be a big hassle in checking the price for each item, and the 4 main sale item I got had wrong prices. They had bad attitude and pretty much a no refund policy on items you just paid moments ago as the items are "perishable"

I had similar experience at Cold Storage, Courts and Popular Bookstore, however, the errors were minimal, and for popular bookstore, some writing pads were $1.95, and they charged me $2.05, but offered a 10% more discount because of some other deal going on, and the price was even lower than expected.

I mean are the consumers protected if there is false advertising? I had never checked the price of my purchases as I usually buy hundreds of dollars worth of groceries, and it is almost impossible to remember all the prices.

I am very disappointed in the level of service in the supermarkets and large retail chains, and their return policy. Except maybe Courts and Popular Bookstore which seemed no hassle, just a small form to fill.

-- Iron Bowl

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