Bills issue bahrain market

Nov

16

2013

Non-issuance of bills by the local grocers has been a bugbear for Bahraini consumers who enthusiastically flock to the central market every day. Consumers complained that there were many instances when grocers in the market refused to issue bills to customers saying that the value of the amount purchased was too meagre to warrant a bill. “I bought some carrots and salads from two grocers, both of them did not provide any bills. I am a regular customer here and have not seen any of them issuing any bills for small amounts like 100fils or 1BD,” a consumer Mohammed Sabah told DT News. According to a Filipino consumer Julius Marlon, citizens often do not assert their rights and therefore many shopkeepers don’t bother to issue bills. “A bill provides a documented proof of purchase and would help to hold the shopkeepers liable in case of defective goods,” she said. Meanwhile, on the flipside, grocers raised concerns over the consumers who are always on the lookout for bargains for groceries which are sold at reasonable prices. “We always issue bills when customers demand the same but we never provide a bill for stuffs which are sold at a price which is too less,” one of the grocers at the market Babul Chandra Dhar alleged. He explained that they provide bills only for customers including cold store keepers and supermarket employees who buy grocery items in bulk. “We buy vegetables in cartons and sell it in Kilograms. If per carton costs 1BD to 3BD the customers who visit the market bargains for a long time till they bring down the price to 100 or 200 fils per kg,” another grocer Ashraf Kuniyil asserted. He also pointed out that the customers are not bothered about the bills once they get the groceries for the price they bargained for. Complaints against packed products By selling in packets, especially fruits and vegetables, it has been alleged that grocers are making heavy profits as there is no reweighing when a customer buys a particular item. Generally, thermocols and plastic materials are used for packing and their weight is also weighed along with that of fruits, vegetables or other commodities sold at these places. “The cost of packing, rent, labour and other expenditures is already included in the price of the commodity. So, it is unethical to charge us for the packing as well?” asked Mr. Mussa Yousuf, an Egyptian national and a regular customer at one of these places. “Though the plastic packets only weigh up to one gm per piece, a customer loses heavily while buying 20 varieties of fruits and vegetables, as he is paying for the extra 20 grams. He is indirectly being charged for the same thing twice,” he added. When a basket of any fruit or vegetable is packed, the first one is used as a sample to check how much it holds and the remaining are packed on a rough assumption based on the first, and subsequently the same price tag is pasted on the rest. Another trick that traps customers is the usage of heavy packing materials, which makes the customers believe that the particular commodity is of good quality. But in reality, the total weight only increases. “Lately, I bought some fruits and vegetables from a super market which were pre-packed, but upon reaching home I realised that I had paid a little extra for a packing which has to be disposed off, in anyway,” said Reena Sirose, an Indian homemaker. Customers with a lower income often rely on supermarkets for fruits and vegetables as they consider them to be fresh and cheaper. “In the hypermarket, when we buy fruits and vegetable which are pre-packed, if we get anything rotten underneath we can’t do anything, but in case if it’s from central market, we can go back to the vendor seeking justification,” she said. “The story doesn’t end with fruits and vegetables, many food items are also packed in the similar manner. As customers we like it when the food is packed in a plastic box for we get a free box which can be used later but unknowingly we are paying for a box twice,” said Roselyn Fernando, another homemaker, who is hopeful that authorities concerned will intervene and stop such exploitations.

Source: Bahrain Tribune

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