Grandma's Tales

February 10, 2007

Are you an efficient buyer? 4

Filed under: Consumer caution,Society — Geeta Padmanabhan @ 9:52 pm

Today my husband went out to buy himself a pair of chappals (open-toed, open-heeled slip-ons). Now, my husband is a careful (the only efficient customer, he says, in our two-member family) buyer and checks the product thoroughly before he parts with cash. He saw this board outside a shoe shop that was offering a sale and went in. The assistant confirmed the offer and said, “Buy one and get one free.” No, it’s not what you are thinking. It is not that old crack about “you buy one shoe, the other is absolutely free!” “Buy one pair of the chappals you are looking for, sir, another pair of the same type is totally free.”
I cannot understand why anyone would want two pairs of shoes with the same looks, no woman in her right mind would do this and that makes them clever shoppers, but my husband found this an excellent bargain. Especially when he discovered a pair of ordinary chappals today cost around Rs. 300/- “Two colours?” he asked, and began to check the size. He wore a pair, walked, and found them comfortable, a good fit. He asked for the freebie and checked the quality. He does that by pulling at the straps and turning the chappals over for chinks.
And then he picked up the shoe boxes and turned them around and over searching for the price tags. That got me this story.
The box in which the freebies were packed had the original table of information that comes printed on the box. The table had three columns. The colour code was there, the name of the article was there too but no MRP (maximum retail price). That column was empty. But the box that carried the ones he paid for had two labels. The old white one (with computerisation and new rules, prize tags are now printed in yellow) put the MRP as Rs.165. And the new label stuck close to it said Rs. 315/- You see what happened?
My husband paid Rs. 315/ for a pair of new shoes. He thought he was getting a pair of shoes worth Rs. 315/- free. The shopkeeper had hiked the price by Rs 150/-, and gave a pair worth Rs. 165/- as a sop.
“I called the shopkeeper and showed him the labels. I also pointed out the free pack had no MRP,” he told me.
“What did he say?”
“Without thinking he said, ‘Different prices for different colours, sir.’ Rubbish because both the labels were on the same box.”
“You took the two pairs anyway.”
“Yes. And I told him, ‘Stop blabbering. If you are doing a promo – this is nothing but chicanery – at least have the sense to remove old price tags. And fill the MRP column.’ I took the shoes because they are very comfortable.”
Is this customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction?

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