Tuesday, May 1, 2012

the missing 25 cents

My car had been stuck for almost two months and so the gel freshener has been dried up already. When I went to SM to have my pictures printed, I decided to replace also the car freshener. So while waiting for the pictures to be printed, off I went to Ace Hardware and scanned the shelves for the car fresheners. I purchased the same scent and brand that i got before, the California Scents Cool Gel Coronado Cherry. I queued in line at the outer cashier and handed my one hundred-peso bill to pay for Php99.75. The bagger at Ace Hardware wrapped my purchase in a paper bag and the cashier handed me my receipt. I was expecting a 25-cent change, but to no avail.

The cashier then entertained the next customer and I was left wondering how a big player in retail such as Ace Hardware could be ignorant in handling cents changes. In a few seconds, something sparked in me, and there goes my stupid curiosity to ask the obvious.

"Miss, hindi na ba kayo nagsusukli ng 25 cents?" I asked the cashier.

"Ay Ma'am, hindi na po. Wala po kasi ako bente singko." Replied the cashier.

I would have accepted and appreciated if beforehand she told me that she's sorry for having no 25 cents to give me as a change. But her answer was something unacceptable in my dogma of consumerism.

She even added,"Kase po ineexplain na po namin sa customer yan, kapag po meron kaming panukli nagsusukli po kami. Kapag po wala, wala po talaga kasi po wala pong barya e."

And her stupid answer irked me the most. The consumers are left with no options but to accept their anti-consumerist act. I told her that Ace Hardware would have to replenish their coins before it run out, and their act of not giving the change is indeed unlawful. She asked me if I have 75 cents to which I answered none, and gave me a frowning face I would just want to smudge over and over again.

I told them I will report them to DTI and left Ace Hardware.

You might say it's just 25 cents but as I have mentioned earlier, it would have been ok if she told me in advance. It’s not that I am making a mountain out of a molehill, but there are pressing social ignorance involved here, like the protection of the consumers against their rights, the integrity of the company, and the attitude of your teamplayers. Imagine paying more than the tagged price, unlawful right? With the advent of high-priced commodities being sold to consumers, it is just right that the we as consumers be protected against evil businesses that take advantage of the ignorance of consumers.

Mind you, you can't ride a public jeepney transpo when u lack 25 cents in your fare.