A case of no love lost for Food Lovers

Mangoes are some of the most popular fruits during summer.
Mangoes are some of the most popular fruits during summer.

I always thought the price you see is the price you pay, as one store’s pay-off line goes.

I thought if you see the same product with two different prices, you’d naturally opt for the one that charges the lowest – but I was wrong.

Can you imagine my shock when I was told that the price that was displayed in the catalogue was wrong and – surprise, surprise – I was shown a different catalogue with a different price for the same product.

I was gobsmacked and left without buying anything.

I don’t always agree that a customer is always right. But, in this case, I think I was right, 100%.

Before you wonder what I’m talking about, here is my story: Last week I saw an advert with what looked like a real bargain at Food Lovers Market – four mangoes for R20.

I entered the store and went straight to the shelves. But, to my shock, I saw a different price – R50 for four. Then I called the section’s manager, a brother only known as KB, to help verify what I was seeing.

To my dismay, KB confirmed the “R50 for four” as the real price. I protested and even went back to the car to get a copy of the newspaper where I saw the advert for R20 for four. Then, voilà! He showed me a different advert from a different newspaper to close the argument.

I was astonished by this and demanded to see the manager, who told me with a smile that it was what it was. He even showed me a disclaimer – a tiny print at the bottom of the advert.

I felt defeated and left without my mangoes. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement – I was deflated.

I felt defeated and left without my mangoes. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement – I was deflated.

Subsequently, I sent an email to the store’s head office in Cape Town voicing my disappointment. I even attached the two conflicting catalogues. The email bounced back. I phoned the call centre and was given a different email address to the one on the website. But even that one bounced back.

Fortunately, there’s a window where you can lodge a complaint on the website and that’s what I did.

Two days later I received a call from the Edenvale store to apologise for the mishap and the woman promised to come back to me to see “what we can do to rectify the situation”. The call was followed by another from head office, requesting proof. “Please send the attachment separately,” said the woman. I did as asked and nothing bounced back. As far as I was concerned, the email went through.

It has been more than a week now since I last heard from them. I wonder if this is how they treat all their customers. I hope they come back to me soon. The mango season is coming to an end and I need to stock up on those R20 for four as advertised.

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