Sweet changes are sour
Consumers are always at the losing end of the deal of commercial transactions. This, despite laws aimed to uphold the rights of consumers. There are always unfair business practices that make victims out of unsuspecting consumers who buy goods at face value, trusting that they are getting their money’s worth. Unfortunately, merchants and traders and vendors had their way of earning what is made to appear as fair price for goods that are actually less than what were priced for. It allows the merchant to earn more by less than what was sold. The practice is rampant and widespread and prevalent that they appear as normal practice in business.
Something ought to be done to really protect the consumers from such malpractices. While government is on a serious campaign against unscrupulous traders and merchants who make a living out of victimized consumers, the drive must be pushed harder and farther.
One common source of cheating is the sale of underweight goods which customers pay for the exact price per weight unit. Concerned government agencies are into saturation drives to nab weighing scales that are not calibrated. Many vendors selling goods their daily living had been caught, fined and penalized for cheating their customers with tampered weighing scales. These are small entrepreneurs that engage in small business to earn something to support their family. We see them as the easy catch to be shown to the public that indeed there is a serious campaign against cheats that victimize consumers. Nothing is really wrong with nabbing wrongdoers but for their utter selectiveness in nabbing the hapless and weak while letting go the rich and powerful is truly revolting to the public mind.
We have yet to learn of big cheats being nabbed for the same offenses. Customers are well aware how huge weighing scales are not that fair as they ought to be, causing greater damage to the hapless and unsuspecting consumers. There are those that fall victims of slender sacks containing underweight rice or other goods sold by the bag. Customers have no way of checking the weight of cement for instance that is supposed to be of a standard weight per bag. Rice, flour, sugar and other mass goods in sacks with labels of a standard weight are often less than what they ought to be as paid for by the hapless consumer. But we have yet to learn of huge weighing scales found as cheats being confiscated by the authorities for violation of the laws.
But the recent business malpractice has to do with shortchanging customers on the flimsy excuse of lack of coins. Many customers had fallen victims to petty changes being disregarded in favor of the vendor. This had become a normal practice in huge department stores with cashiers apparently under instruction by management to disregard what they deem as insignificant amount, never minding to give the change that is due their customers. Consumers just take the practice in stride, avoiding the hassle and waste of time asking for the exact change.
In some establishments, candies are used in lieu of coins, with the candies given a price equivalent akin to the price with retail vendors and stores, which price carry the profit margin. That makes the exchange a short change for the candy is valued more than its flat price at breakeven cost. This writer would dare posit to customers who might encounter being given sweet changes in the form of candies, sans melamine, to keep such changes intact and use the same in paying to the same establishment that gave that sweet changes the next time you pay for anything to such business establishment. Let us see if they can smile taking the very candies they gave their customers as sweet changes.
By: Al Ellema
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