Shopping trip doesn’t add up
As a retired person on a very fixed income, I labour at being a prudent shopper who consciously adheres to a strict shopping list whenever I purchase groceries for my kitchen.
However, with the despicable, incredulous methods used by grocery stores, especially the nationally-affiliated grocery stores, I find it more difficult, and most frustrating, to shop for groceries knowing that the items advertised in our local weekly grocery flyer will not be scanned (priced) at the advertised sale price.
Although such nationally-affiliated grocery stores go through great pains to create weekly flyers to encourage shoppers to buy at their stores, shoppers need to be very aware that all may not be as it seems.
Customers are often intentionally slighted by the advertised sale prices and the actual charge as seen on the sale receipt after check-out. With automated scanning by bar codes and the hidden cash register, a customer may not realize the charge for each item, especially items that are adver- tised at a reduced price.
Case in point, as part of my weekly grocery shopping at our nationally-affiliated grocery store, I recently purchased PC Sparkling Beverage (with lockable stopper) advertised for $2.49 per bottle, as opposed to a regular price of $4.49, and Danone Oikos yogurt advertised at three for $9.99 (regular price $3.99 each).
As my groceries were scanned at the checkout and charged to my receipt I, in a brainless state, accepted that the scanned charges were 100 per cent matter-of-fact. Not until, at home, my receipt was scrutinized and I realized that I was not given the reduced prices as advertised in the weekly flyer of the nationally-affiliated grocery store.
In fact, for the PC Sparkling Beverage (with lockable stopper) I was charged $5.99 — $1.50 more than the regular price. For the small yogurt I was charged $11.97 for three, not $9.99 as advertised.
On my next visit to the same grocery store, I made Customer Service aware of the above and I did produce my cash receipt. The explanation I received in the case of the yogurt was the product must be exactly the same flavour.
As there was no mention of this in the local flyer issued by the local nationally-affiliated grocery store, I, as a regular weekly shopper, became agitated. When Customer Service did not seem to appreciate my state of mind, I asked to see the Manager.
The Manager only spoke via telephone with the Customer Service and told her to refund the difference. Really, to me, this was more than a matter of a simple refund.
The manner in which my concerns were addressed by the nationally-affiliated grocery store was far below the standard I expected. As a consequence, I shared my frustration in Twitter.
Personnel from the national headquarters did respond, however, I did not receive the response from national headquarters or the local grocery store that I, as a regular weekly shopper, deserved. So I will buy my future groceries from a local store that has its home office in this province.
Harold Peach writes from Salmon Cove