WITH the lockdown, ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) and continuing worrisome situation where the ‘sure cure’ for coronavirus is yet to come, nobody needs or ever wants additional, unnecessary stress.
Since supermarkets and food establishments are among those providing the so-called ‘essential services,’ it is expected that their managers and personnel not only ensure that proper safety measures are observed but moreso, that their customers get exactly what they pay for and do not have to return either because they were overcharged or there was something missing in what they bought.
Over at the S&R in Sucat, Paranaque, this already seems to be the order of the day, at least in so far as yours truly is concerned. And I’m sure I’m not the only ‘victim’.
Three times during the ECQ, I had to return to S&R. The first two times, it was because of ‘double entries’ in our groceries. We were charged twice for a single item.
The third time, which was only last April 14, was the worst. I ordered food for take-out. When my number was called and I came forward to claim, the lady staff handed me just the one box of pizza when I paid for two and at least five other food items. I told her to check the receipt and when she did, I was made to step aside and wait again.
After another round of long wait, my number was called again but this time, I was already in a hurry to leave and just asked her if my orders were already complete and she assured me they were. To my dismay, upon reaching home, I found out that it lacked the two-piece fried chicken with rice order which was meant to be my dinner that day. If I didn’t order pizzas, I would not have had any dinner then.
Right away, I called up all the numbers of S&R including the supposed ‘hotline’ in their flyer to complain but the numbers either kept ringing or can’t be contacted.
It took me a couple of days before I was able to return to S&R. I sought out the lady manager (the one wearing a red shirt) and after she went here and there with my receipt, she came back to me saying they could give my order but without the rice and told me I should have called up first for them to prepare the rice. Really? I told her I did exactly that but that none of their numbers was working.
Initially, I agreed just the same even if no alternative to the rice was offered at all. But then again, I thought that maybe I should just make the trip I made and the gasoline and time spent at least worthwhile so, I decided to just buy some food items again. I upgraded the two-piece chicken to a box of six pieces and ordered several other kinds of food since I was already headed home anyway.
I told the lady that from my total bill, they can just deduct the amount of the missing order from my April 14 visit. She said they will have to review the CCTV first, something which she did not say the first time we talked as in fact, we already agreed that I just take the two-piece chicken without the rice. Although I felt slighted since I have been a regular and frequent customer for the longest time and in fact she knew me by face, I told her to go ahead. I was thinking that since the line was long, they would have finished reviewing their CCTV by the time it was my turn to order.
So I queued up and ordered but when I handed over the money for about P1,800 worth of food I purchased, I was told not to pay yet for the chicken box since they were not done reviewing the CCTV. Although about 20 minutes have already passed, again, I said okay, since I will be waiting for the pizza anyway.
While I already got all my orders including the chicken box, I had to wait for another ten to 15 minutes for the pizza. When it finally came, I offered to already pay for the chicken box which was already with me. To my utter dismay, I was again told they were not done reviewing their CCTV.
It would make you think that sometimes, it really does not pay to be honest. Had I just taken the pizza and left, no one would have noticed. I could have gone home with a free box of chicken but no, I called for the manager and reminded her that I haven’t paid for the chicken box.
From the time I arrived and brought up the complaint, about an hour had already passed. The equally inefficient male manager, a tall, somewhat skinhead guy, was brought in by the lady to explain to me since I was already complaining about the length of time they have already made me wait.
The guy had the gall to tell me to wait a bit more since they have a policy and that if their CCTV showed otherwise, the staff will have to pay. That was the height of arrogance and lack of respect for customers.
I told both of them that in the first place, I should not have suffered the inconvenience of not being able to eat what I wanted that day after paying for it fully and worse, of having to come back and spend my precious time, gas and effort through no fault of mine. It was their job and responsibility to make sure that a customer’s orders are complete before handing them over. If at all, my only fault was that I fully trusted them, thinking that S&R had a reputation to protect.
Secondly, I have been a cardholder for so long and easily, they can either cancel my card or contact me should my complaint be proven wrong, instead of wasting all my precious time waiting for them to finish reviewing their CCTV which was taking forever. The male manager also stupidly told me that I had to wait since it was already a couple of days before I returned. Instead of apologizing that I had to return for their mistake, he made it appear like I was the one to be faulted for not coming back at once. Like I live in the basement of S&R?!
Before the ECQ, I was also overcharged when I did my grocery there. A lady manager wearing blue polo approached me at the dining area and apologized several times while handing me a piece of paper (I can’t recall what it’s called) which she said I can present to the cashier when I shop again so that the amount for which I was overcharged can be deducted from my total bill.
I pointed out to her though that the said paper should not have a time frame within which I can use it, since it was not my fault that I was overcharged. Again, she apologized and because of the kind way she explained, I relented. The male manager in the latest incident was a far cry.
On all these occasions, I was forced to return and buy again. Each time, I spent way more than the amount involved in my complaint. In the latest incident, for instance, the amount of the order that was not given to me was only P149.50. The total amount I bought that day and on the day of my return were both P2,000 more or less each or a total of about P4,000.
At the very least, these supposed managers of S&R should have thanked me for somehow contributing to their sales and for not showing any anger even if such was justified. I can’t imagine how much more difficult it would have been if I just asked for a refund???
I’m sure the owners of this establishment are totally unaware of how poorly their establishment is being run by some incompetent personnel. On those two latest occasions, never did I hear anyone say ‘sorry’ or even a mere ‘pasensiya na’ which could have at least eased the annoyance and insult they put me through.
In the latest incident, they had the temerity to speak to me like it was my fault since I did not return at once, by pointing out that it took me days to return. In the first place, no customer should ever have to return for any complaint of overcharging.
I was just wondering why I haven’t encountered any incident where they forget to charge me or make me pay for less than what I bought? Why is it that all the time, I am always at the losing end and the mistake is always in S&R’s favor? Is this already intentional or a scheme? If so, how many more have fallen victims?
So dear shoppers, remember to check, double check and even triple check your receipts against the items you paid before you leave the S&R Sucat premises. Don’t be too trusting like me. Apparently, that establishment does not deserve it.
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