My Spanish Supermarket Conspiracy Theory

supermarkets-spainI’m more and more convinced that many companies, including supermarkets, are happy to be fooling their customers regardless of whether they’re unemployed, on a pension or in other low-income groups.

Let me explain, how many stressed out people actually have the time to check their supermarket receipt? Often just the total cost is enough to send you into a state of shock, without going line by line to ensure that everything has been entered correctly. So, when it comes to making sure that the BOGOF (buy-one-get-one-free) offer was discounted correctly, or the reduced price item you picked up but didn’t really need wasn’t charged at the normal price, most of us would have to admit that we just don’t have the time (or the inclination).

However, the conspiracy theory is that Spanish supermarkets count on that – for every customer who does point out a mistake, or goes to customer service to get a refund, there must be tens if not hundreds who don’t. So, all the Alcampos, Carrefours, etc. in Spain get to advertise their “great” offers but inadvertently forget to programme their computers with all the new prices.

And not all supermarkets work in the same way, some discounts can be found at the end of the receipt just before the grand total, others are hidden amongst the other 200 items you’ve bought, making it even harder to check.

So, how to get around this without spending too much time? I note down on my shopping list the BOGOFs seen in their leaflets and make sure I check them on the receipt. It’s also a good idea is to note down the price of those items that you’ve only bought because the discounted price was too irresistible. Of course, there may be other wrongly priced items, but you need to find a balance between saving a couple of cents or being duped out of quite a few euros.

What about when the customer is undercharged for items? Well I, for one, won’t be feeling guilty…