Thursday, 10 November 2011

Feature: We're at war, Comrades!

Sometimes it really feels like a war. A war of attrition, in which "they" try to wear "us" down by continual small attacks. They, in this case, are the supermarkets; we are their customers.  Sounds like "class war"? I don't mean it to, the "Comrades" was meant as a joke.

But WTF, it sure feels like it sometimes.

Today NOMM bought some leafy greens in Welcome Supermarket (頂好超市),  edible chrysanthemum (茼蒿) because it was on offer at NT$19. Still about double the price of any greens in the local wet market, but it was raining outside and ....
    But when they were scanned at the checkout the price came up at NT$24, so i went back to get the ticket off the vegetable shelves... but it had disappeared. A member of staff was arranging stock nearby, but i couldn't be bothered.
     On leaving the shop, however, i had to walk past a large sign advertising "Edible chrysanthemum on special offer, original price NT$49, now NT$19 from November 03-10." [translation from Chinese]
    Also by coincidence the guy from the checkout was unoccupied, so I called him over, pointed to the sign, and asked him why i had paid NT$24.
     He said " The offer has finished."
    I said "It clearly states 'till Nov 10'."
    He said "That's yesterday."
    I said "No, that's today."
    The woman on the shoe repair counter weighed in on my side. The guy gave up, called over the staff member working in the vegetable section. She, refusing to look me in the eye, and not apologizing from first to last, said (as if she was doing me a great favour) "Ok, I'll give them to you for NT$19."
    I said "...

Well, you can imagine what i said.

Yesterday, a similar thing happened in A.mart (愛買, literally something like "Love of Shopping"): NT$129 for something marked NT$99, and a woman behind me in the queue said "This always happens on special items."
    I said "You think this is bad, try Carrefour."

And at QuanLian (全聯 , literally something like "Completely Unified" but possibly bearing the English name Pxmart) on Thursday last week, my "free gift" for the NT$30 fee to join its membership scheme (so it can keep a track of what i buy) of a 1.5 litre bottle of sports drink transmogrified into a packet of toilet paper.
    "We've run out of sports drink," the checkout woman said.
    "Then i won't join the scheme," I said
     "I'll go and get a bottle," the lazy so-and-so said

Day after day, week after week, it never stops, it just wears us down. What i don't understand is why they don't care that we get fed up. We're already tired, we're spending money on ever-increasing prices, we've queued for tens of minutes for the right to pay, and THEN they stiff us on the shelf prices. Don't they care we'll go somewhere else? Of course not, because everyone else is doing the same.

                                                          Text and photos © Jiyue Publications 2011

1 comment:

  1. You can say that again.
    Don't know why they do offer the special price while somtimes what we have to do is to FIGHT for it, as if the tougher we are, the more we gain. But the point is they offer discount to attract people to come shopping but take the customers who would give up to strive for the price variance, if what happened as mentioned in your feature, for granted...