Mumbai: For most inflation-hit Mumbaikars, weekly trips to local supermarkets are usually made with the intention of making the most of the discounts no matter how paltry offered on retail prices of groceries and food items. But this attempt at thriftiness backfired lamentably for a 34-year-old engineer when he walked into a supermarket at a mall in Tardeo, only to be charged Rs 1,400 for two bottles of Duke's ice cream soda. The retail price of each bottle is Rs 25.
The incident took place on New Year's Eve, when Nanachowk resident Kaushal Purohit visited SoBo Central mall to do some shopping for the year-ending festivities, along with his friend Munir Chagani. He purchased 60 items, of which two were bottles of Duke's ice cream soda. He was billed a total of Rs 8,334.
"We later checked the bill, and were shocked when we noticed how much we had been billed for the soda. The two bottles had cost us a total of Rs 1,400. But the MRP printed on the bottle indicated that they were to be sold for only Rs 25 each," said Purohit.
The debacle didn't end there. Purohit rushed back to the store and informed the salesman about the inflated rate at which he had been sold the soda. The salesman refused to reduce the price, claiming he could not mess with prices fixed in the computer database. An altercation ensued, at the end of which the salesman asked him to return all his items.
Purohit refused to comply. "I demanded a written apology, and asked them to take action, but the management was only interested in cancelling my entire purchase," said Purohit.
Purohit took the overpriced items and lodged a complaint with the BMC, demanding that action be taken against the store. He followed it up with a complaint on January 6 with the Controller of legal metrology (weights and measures) of BMC. The officials have assured him they will take action on the matter.
Akbar Hussain, store manager at the supermarket, said, "There was a system error. I have received an email in my system complaining that particular product Duke's Soda is creating a problem. I also found Purohit's address on a website and met him to apologise, but he would have none of it. I wanted to offer him chocolates, gifts and flowers, and was even ready to refund the money, as well as tender an official apology."