Think Before You Pay

Few days back I wanted to drink Coke. Here outside my office, there are many “tapris” (a roadside shop) on the footpath. In the absence of a good alternative like a cafeteria, etc people from nearby companies rely on these places for their snacks, tea, etc. Whether these shops are under patronage of PMC or not is hard to say as I have not inquired about it.

So, let’s come back. Few days back I wanted to drink coke. One of my friends also accompanied me and we went to one of these tapris. I asked for 500ml bottle of coke which the shopkeeper gave me. I saw the price and the M.R.P was Rs.23. I gave him a Rs. 50 note. He returned me Rs.25 waiting for Rs.2 more. Though I am not adamant on Rs.2 but for a while I was thinking about my spending habits and its influence on the society, specially people who cannot have the luxury of sparing even Rs.2. With this in mind, I asked for Rs.2 back. And what followed turned to be unbelievable in few minutes. I asked the reason for charging Rs.2 extra. The lady replied that because we keep refrigerator to keep it cool. I tried to convince her that the bottle comes with a MRP of Rs. 23 and it is illegal to charge Rs.25. No sooner had I said so when she started abusing me, “lena hai to lo, warna bahut aate hain tumhare jaise!!” I gave the bottle of Coke back and took my money and returned. It was horrible. People over there started staring at me as I have done something wrong. Why the hell shall I pay Rs.2 extra came to my mind. I forgot about society. The thing that came to my mind was that it is my hard earned money and it is ridiculous to give it to someone who doesn’t realizes your importance or in general the importance of the customer.

I want to ask you that whether you pay more than MRP? Whether you pay more than what comes in your meter while traveling by an auto or a taxi? If yes, then please re-think about the society in general. Aren’t we directly aiding the inflation? I am not going to present here a dose of social responsibility and the effect of this act on society. We all know it. Better to start thinking and implementing it. I have decided that I am not going to pay more than MRP whether I get abused or whatsoever.

Also, want to know if there is any way I can complain about this to authorities?

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18 thoughts on “Think Before You Pay”

  1. Hello Sir, I respect your opinions…but then we pay more everywhere.
    If you have ever been to a movie theatre, you must have noticed that the prices in the cafeteria inside are way much higher than the normal prices. Why don’t you go and fight there?
    This is a general norm in India now and you can’t help it. I am not asking you to sit back and do nothing about it but putting your energy in all this will be a waste of it. Rather why don’t you try something else ??
    For example..Instead of cribbing about the mistakes this society makes, you can do your bit ..You can go and help those in needs. Coming over back to the main issue, I agree that you do not wish to spend your money over something preposterous but you can’t change the norms of the society. Its feels good in the beginning but then once u dig it you realise that it’s utter nonsensical to put your time thinking about these petty things.

    1. Dear anshul.. please understand the system in movie multiplexes..
      the current day multiplexes work under a contract from the films division.. the profits from the movies directly go to that chamber.. only a desgnated percentage goes towards the multiplex.. to compensate for this loss the multiplexes are allowed to charge extra.. i had brought up this issue once in a consumer form.. i felt the prize of popcorn was 140 rs..which was about 130 rs extra from a normal packet.. and about more than 14 times the original prize but in vain.. coming to the current issue of over charging 2 rs for a cold drink..recently i had a riot in a hotel.. for a 200 ml pet bottle they charged me 13 rs.. mrp was 6 rs.. i did some searching.. it is a criminal offence to do so.. Please google search for the legal metrology department in ur area… u will be surprised by the amount of money every single person i being ripped off..

  2. Hi Anshul,

    You are right in whatsoever you said. But here the question is whether you pay more than MRP? If you do so then you are doing wrong. I am not cribbing and I am not blaming anyone. I am asking you to think over? If you are paying above MRP then what is the use of government asking the companies to fix M.R.P. I am not buying shares which should work on market fluctuations.

    If my time is so precious that I should avoid thinking about petty things then why should I think about people who are in need. Let me do my work and other do theirs. I don’t think paying on MRP (see I am not asking you to bargain which is your right because MRP means Maximum Retail Price and you have every right to bargain on it) should take much time and I don’t think it is nonsensical either.

    And IF I am not paying more than MRP then definitely I am doing my bit!! Isn’t it?

  3. I think I would argue that it was the right of the buyer to ask for the Rs.2 back, since that was what was owed to him. It is perfectly reasonable not to pay more than the price of the item being offered. What is apalling is the shop-owner’s reaction since that amounts to deliberately over-charging the customer by Rs.2 and asking for the Coke back because he refused to pay more! So, in effect, the shop-keeper expects everyone to pay more than the MSRP, and how is that ok?
    The example of the movie theater is not comparable, since the price there is also set. If you don’t want to pay that price, you don’t have to buy, but that is the price they have set. When people refuse to pay those high prices, the movie theaters will stop charging such high prices. But the bottle of coke was offered at Rs.23, and the shopkeeper cannot refuse to sell because he did not get Rs.25. That is illegal and unethical.

    1. perfectly agree.. also if u do a bit of searching online u will realise that even hotels cannot charge the extra money if i dont drink in their premises.. they can charge me only if they serve me.. and by serving…its not in the bottle..if they serve in the bottle i am entitled to pay the mrp only.. and the point that the multiplexex do put up the rates upfront rather than charging that extra money after the bill.. very valid. 🙂

  4. Hi Palak,

    Please visit: http://www.consumergrievance.com/
    This organization shall be able to guide you through your consumer rights.
    For temporary commercial establishments, in best of my knowledge – You can get two areas authenticated:
    1. Legal hold of land/property for commercial use.
    2. Legal license to do business.

    Incident Analysis:
    Consumer Perspective:
    I shall try to be generic here. Let me introduce to a very interesting insight from a different world.
    In some developed countries, I have seen people being generous on retailers- a very common attitude is – “Keep the change”
    On the other hand, retailers may not be rich to have high moral values, I have had retailers send someone running behind me to accept my two cents, and almost everyone settles their change then and their.
    The people who do serve you more than just retail products, expect tips and Consumers pay lavishly.
    Retailer’s Perspective:
    One I just mentioned above. Other, Indian retailers; well I’d say they are not alone.
    First, We have retailers who want every penny, in fact even more.
    But this is NOT about just retailers, this about attitude of people as a whole, about a society which practices this same habit.
    Its the practice of a society I mentioned above where people do not think about money beyond a point from either side, giving or taking, be it anyone.

    Case Solution: You can go bust this guy, And I encourage sure you must.
    Social Solution: What shall we do? Change 1 billion attitudes?

  5. @Rajat Thank you for the link. How can I go about the two things that you mentioned. I already know that these are the most viable option but I don’t know how to access the authorities.

  6. Hi Again Palak,
    Well am back in good 20 days… was caught up with things…
    yes, I am in an impression that forum you’ll correspond with @ consumergrievance.com must be in position to guide you through the procedures and rights.

    If not, if I were in your place, I would walk to the area police station, the one in whose jurisdiction the roadside shop is.
    and lodge an FIR for ‘Illegal possession of land/property’ >> i.e. ‘un aadhi krut roop se ati kraman’ i guess.
    This one step would be enough for you to learn the proc and procedures of the same from the cop who wud address this.

    Another useful link is http://www.consumercourt.netfirms.com/

    If police is unable to find applicable charges on it. I know one….
    Consumer Court is the most appropriate place to go… because then, even if this guy turns out to be doing everything legally, he might just be loosing a license or paying heavy fine for overcharging retail products.

  7. This is an issue to be addressed by respective government authorities and consumer boards and the people collectively. As in your position if all the customers of that shop stop paying extra, the MRP will be restored automatically. Here the unfortunate thing is the behavior of the people around or the customers. As you said they behave like you did something wrong and forget that this affects them also. People think that it is kind of thing that they should not do and its the regular norm. When that thinking changes it will resolve the issue. Some people do not bother about this as they dont mind paying extra. However, It is not a big problem as it is obvious that the one who can pay more or afford coke will go and buy it. There are other serious issues in our country which are more important and directly affects the poor people.

  8. @Chethu Agree with whatever you said. Certainly there are bigger issues than this, but don’t you think that this is equally important issue? It is!! It is about people’s behaviour. We need to change the behaviour and attitude if we want to address serious issues that this country phases. Considering any issue as trivial does as much harm as done by the so-called serious issues. The main point of this post was not that I had to pay more money or I got abused, the main issue is the attitude of the people in general and shop-keeper specifically. That is the reason I have marked this post into “Behaviour” category too.

    1. Consumers who feel cheated should file their complaints against the retailers / restaurants by writing to:

      Deputy Controller, S S Wagh,
      Legal Meteorology Dept,
      7 / 8 Government Barracks,
      Opposite Mittal Towers,
      Free Press Journal Marg,
      Mumbai 400021
      Tel: 22023354 or

      Consumer Guidance Society of India
      Hutment J,
      Opposite Cama Hospital,
      Mahapalika Marg, Mumbai
      Tel: 22621612

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