Most of the large supermarkets in Ghana, such as Melcom, Game, Shoprite and others have a strategy to rip off consumers who buy from them. They appear to be aware of the fact that consumer rights issues don’t feature in Ghana, and they are also exploiting the general tendency of the Ghanaian of wanting to avoid conflict.
There is enough evidence to show that these supermarkets intentionally display low prices of goods and items on the shelves, but at the till or cash register when customers are paying, the prices shoot up.
For instance, at Melcom UPSA branch, a plate with a displayed price of GH¢8.25 came up as GH¢10.50 at the till. A pack of colour pencils with a shelf price of GH¢15.25 came up at the till as going for GH¢20.50.
Another customer picked a shaving stick with the price at GH¢5, but at the till when the item was keyed in, GH¢15 jumped out!
At Game at the Accra Mall, a soap dish with a displayed shelf price of GH¢19 came up as GH¢45 at the point of payment.
In the last couple of weeks since the campaign started to raise awareness about this obvious unethical and dishonest conduct of the supermarkets on social media, I have received lots of examples in comments to my posts and inbox.
A customer at Shoprite Osu saw the price tag on water at GH¢14.5 but during payment it shot up to GH¢19.5.
“When I went back to the shelf the tag had been taken off. I asked for refund and left. I bought same thing in town for GH¢14,” said the customer on Facebook.
This customer’s experience at Game shared in a comment to my post on Facebook: “A reduced to clear motorcycle with price tag of GH¢99 turned to almost GH¢200 at the till even after I had confirmed the price with the attendant ahead of going to the till. It’s embarrassing.”
For this Melcom customer this is his experience, as shared on Facebook: “It happened to me at the Mataheko-Afienya branch. The teller lady was so rude towards me when I protested. I called the Manager who verified from the shelves and realised that I was right. So he accepted my protest and I paid the price as stated on the shelves.”
But for this customer the experience was so painful he stopped shopping at Melcom. “I have had that experience three different times. I have stopped shopping from them,” he shared on Facebook, and he is not the only customer to stop shopping at Melcom as a result of the experiences. Some others commenting, say they’ve stopped shopping at Melcom.
Other individuals commenting on the Facebook posts say customers are obliged to pay only the displayed prices. Some shared examples of what happens in other countries.
“Elsewhere, the shop attendants will be required, by law, to give the items to you at the prices indicated on the shelves. You only pay the price at the till if it’s lower,” another posted.
“Nofils and Food Basics in Canada, will give you the item for free if the price tag is different from the checkout price. I have experienced it,” says a shopper in Canada.
Customers to these supermarkets should pay attention and be vigilant.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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