Monday, November 5, 2012

Check Your Long Super Market Bills. You May Be Paying More!

Ever since the mall culture penetrated into the lives of thousands of average Indians who make a descent living, their shopping bills have only increased in length. So I asked a few people as to how their shopping bills appear to them, and these are a few thoughts, 'long, endless, ridiculously calculated, almost incomprehensible, Math unknown to humankind, and much more...'

Okay, chalo who cares! we have got the products we wanted. Plus these malls have high-end billing system, thus they would be 100 percent error proof. Really? Let me raise a mirror to your delusion!

Here is a zoom in view of a fairly long bill. The product marked in the image has been billed for INR 54.00

Now, if you look at the product, the MRP is INR 52.00. I've juxtaposed the billed amount with the Product's MRP

Okay fine, let us move on. But wait there is something more to surprise you. On the same bill if you look a little towards the beginning of the end (you know at time how long your bills can be, don't you?) you will see a product billed for INR 77.00

Now, if you look at the product, the MRP is INR 72.00. I've juxtaposed the billed amount with the Product's MRP
Well, I have been to Reliance Mart at Phoenix Market City, Kurla West for times that I can't even count. Perhaps because of its close proximity from my house. And for all obvious reasons I would not calculate the bill. Today the bill was surprisingly longish because I couldn't control my urge to spend my F&F from my previous company. And then upon leaving the store I thought I should check the bill. And to my surprise I found a big hole in the billing system.

So what is this hole? Let us understand it simply...

If a Mall sources a product in Jan 2012 at 10 Rupess and then some time later in July it sources the same product at 15 Rupess, the billing system will be updated as per the latest price. Thus often you would find same products with different MRPs. 

So would you call this a system error? I denied squarely when Umesh the Store Manager at Reliance Mart explained to me. By no stretch of the Imagination it could be a system error if the Super Markets have employees standing at the check out to accept payment. Should not they spend some time in cross checking the MRP of the Product with what they see on their system? Instead they blindly move their gadget over the product and generate bills. If this is what their task is, I strongly recommend to have machines instead.

Friends, I couldn't get a good camera to click better photos. Please forgive me for the images. 

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Faraz Salat

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Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Admirer of all things that make up a global human society.