Friday, March 03, 2006

Rip Me Off, Why Don't You?

In yet another sign of the murderous inflation that is killing Dubai, your favourite number one blogster has just returned from doing a little shopping at his local Choithram's. The Keefieboy was appalled to find that the price of one particular item he wanted to buy (Jus-Rol Shortcrust pastry) has increased from Dhs 7.95 to Dhs 9.95. He knows this because underneath the new price sticker there was an old one, at the old price.

Oh, you say 'it's only 2 dirhams, surely you can afford that?' Well, yes I can, and no it isn't. That two dirhams represents a rise of about 17%. I questioned the duty manager about this and he said the supplier has increased the price. Yeah right, retroactively on old stock? This kind of thing is seriously illegal in the West: old stock must be sold at old prices.

I didn't buy the item (no doubt I will buy it at a Spinney's for about 10.95 or a Union Co-op for 6.50, or maybe I'll just make my own sodding pastry), but it really is well past time that we got some proper consumer protection in this country.

Oh, see this as well.


Blogger Seabee said...

I'm not holding my breath!
There was some twaddle reported about consumer protection recently, in the usual difficult-to-work-out-what-they-were-actually-saying English-speak. From what I could gather from it the officials seemed to be saying it's all down to us to look after ourselves.

4:18 pm  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Seabee: yes, I think you got it right - whoever it was was basically saying 'we don't have any clue what this is about, and therefore we have no intention of doing anything about it'. Which is pretty bloody disgraceful. This attitude needs to be fixed properly, otherwise people will vote with their feet. We are already at a stage where expats are leaving or sending their families home because they can no longer afford to live here.

And if one commenter dares to say 'if you don't like it, bugger off' I will exile them to the pits of hell. Or something.

4:36 pm  
Blogger Duffy said...

I don't know how things are handled in Airstrip One but in the US, you can sell your stock for pretty much whatever you want. Gouging laws generally only kick in during hurricanes and the like.

There is an economic arguement for raising prices on goods in stock aside from supply and demand. Many stores operate on very thin margins. In the US, gas stations will raise their prices if they find out the price of oil is going up. It has not affected the cost of the goods at the pump now, but in order to be able to buy the next truckload, they need to have the operating cash to do so, so they raise the price immediately.

7:37 pm  
Blogger Seabee said...

keefieboy, yep I love that one too. Complain about anything and the smartarse comments to leave if you don't like it roll in. People in every country, their own or their adopted one, complain - and rightly so. Presumably the smartarses think we should all just accept whatever's there and never try to get it improved. Not me, I'm gonna keep on complaining when I see things that could be improved.

8:17 pm  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Duffy: I'm surprised that NorthWest Oceania allows this, but Airstrip One most definitely does not.

And big retailers around the world operate on extended credit - they never actually pay for anything until it's been sold.

8:50 pm  
Blogger Hot Lemon& Honey said...

I agree keefie...we get ripped of all the time...not only at supermarket, a year ago I went to the bananrepublic branch here in dubai, and all of the stock they were selling were from three years back here in North America, ofcourse me being a person who doesnt keep things to herself..went and spoke to the manager who referred me (on the phone) to this lady who spoke in a "british" accent, who initially said that the prodcuts were the seasons product, when I told her I just came back from Canada a week ago and actually bought my self few things from there, and that wasnt what was on sale...she said, well thats what is sent and thats "what we sell, I will look into it and get back to you"...I left three weeks later with no response..I know this has nothing to do with your roll...but its about being a consumer..
Consumers are not protected and you were lucky to even find out that you were ripped off..cause many times we are not aware of it...
Its too bad...

2:33 am  
Blogger samuraisam said...

I think the best part about people that say "if you don't like it then leave" is that if you give them a similar totalitarian bullshit response of something like "if you don't like it don't read it" etc they go all apeshit.

Double Fucking Standards Piss Me Off.

As for consumer protection in Dubai, laughable.
I know someone who bought a new computer and they gave him a second hand monitor, he's lived in Dubai for quite some time, so he rang them up and shouted a hell of a lot down the phone and got a brand new monitor. Once you've lived in the area for long enough you'll get that way without knowing it, since being in Australia i've recently learnt I have consumer rights. Haven't used them however /:

3:20 am  
Blogger sheikha cheryl said...

As you know this is a topic that I could write about every day.

I'm now really good at asking "is this your best price?"

I have also come to accept the fact that when I am shopping for groceries, it is inevitible that I will be going to three stores, because if they had it yesterday, they won't have it today, either that or I just get pissed off at the price.

6:03 am  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Dear Keefieboy:

In general you are wrong that this illegal in the west. At least the wild west (America) where I come from. And you are wrong about the morality and efficiency of price changes too.

Where it is applied it has disastrous consequences as when the price of a bag of ice is frozen after a hurricane, the good old boy buys it to keep his beer cold until the electricity is restored and the mother can't find ice to keep the baby's milk from spoiling.

If I say to my employer I need a raise and he says you came here accepting less, why can't I counter by saying, consider what it would cost to hire a replacement.

6:42 am  
Blogger grapeshisha said...

What peeves me off is when "your favourite" come out with articles like this:§ion=business
which is essentially clap trap. Some information here and some information there, coming up with some unweighted conclusion. Your example is one of many. I know from some specific examples, and I'll compare 6 months from now to prove it. I wonder if the importer had reduced the price would they have been so keen to get the pricing gun out.

8:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a free market policy , and when the locallandlords increase their rents by 35 percent every year , so do the retailers have to on their products

2:52 pm  

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