Taking the customer for granted Sweets/Toffees for change
This is a point which the Government and the banks must have addressed to a long time back. But no, not a single soul has spoken out for obviously to the ‘rich’ people of Manipur, a few coin or say rupee one or two or three or even five are good for only buying toffees or sweets. The different petrol pumps used to do it earlier, but now this has stopped for today one can buy petrol or diesel for Rs 500 or Rs 1000 or even Rs 200 and not first buy the coupon for say two or three or five litres of the fuel. Some time back, say about 20 years back, it was the accepted practise for petrol pumps to write the change they had to return at the back of the receipt one gets for buying one or two or three litres of petrol or diesel but the difference was the same receipt can be used when one goes to buy fuel at the same pump the next time. The change or amount scribbled at the back of the receipt from an earlier purchase used to be adjusted with the latest purchase of fuel. Thankfully this has stopped and now consumers can buy fuel according to the sum of money one wants so now people buy petrol for Rs 500 or Rs 1000 as the need may be. This however is not the case when one has to make a purchase at many of the pharmacies to get medicines. Say a strip of tablets cost Rs 37 and one hands over a 50 rupee note. The standard practise is, one is returned a Rs 10 note but the remaining Rs 3 will come in the form of sweets or toffees. A sort of a barter system one may lightly say, but the reality is no matter how many number of toffees one collects or is made to pick up, one cannot adjust the same when one goes to buy medicines the next time round at the same pharmacy. It is the same thing when one purchases anything from other shops and the funny part is no one complains. In the last couple of days, The Sangai Express has been carrying an advertisement from the Reserve Bank of India, urging everyone to accept all the designs of coins and the advertisement would have been so much more meaningful if only the Government takes up from the said advertisement and urges all shops and stores to stop the practise of handing out toffees and sweets in exchange of the amount of money they have to return to the customer.
If it is shortage of coins or smaller denominations then the matter should be taken up by the Government with the RBI or any other relevant authority. One wonders how people in say Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai or Kolkata would take it if they are returned sweets or toffees by the shopkeeper in exchange for the change he has to return after a purchase ? Has the State Government ever given a thought to this or does this not merit any consideration as no hue and cry has been raised ? How about the different civil society organisations, which are known to be very sensitive, imposing their stand and diktats on the people ? Why has no one spoken out against this practise ? Taking the consumers for granted or is it a case of the people of Manipur not knowing what they should be speaking out against ? The reality is ugly and the sooner this is rectified the better it would be for everyone and just because not a whimper of protest has been raised, this should not mean that the Government should turn a blind eye to this ugly reality. The people have been taken for granted for too long and yes make it mandatory for every shopkeeper to keep small change and money in smaller denomination else the customer will continue to feel or be made to feel cheated which is not healthy at all.