Last night, I made my usual Sunday night grocery where I usually buy some items that I stock for consumption in the office for the coming week. These consist of fruits, milk, or whatever I deem “healthy” without sacrificing taste and satisfaction eating them. One of the foods I consider “healthy” is a can of tuna flakes in oil which I eat for lunch (sometimes but not all the times) mixed with a cup of rice.
Of course, to prepare this, I need a can opener which I don’t have but I have colleagues that own one and I borrow it from them. On situations when I feel like eating tuna and they left early for lunch, either I’ll wait for them or get another lunch instead. To skip the instances waiting for them, I planned to get myself my own can opener. When I reached the “Kitchen” area in SM Hypermarket, I was surprised to see that there’s a “discount” on regular items. The average consumer would read and understand the display (as shown above) – 20% off the tag price on regular items. Did it mention selected items? No, so the average Juan or Maria will assume everything considered as “Home” items are on sale as long as it is regular priced. Prior placing the item in my shopping basket, I reconfirmed to one of the store guys if the item is included and as he read the same display, he mentioned “Opo sir. Wala namang nakalagay na selected items kaya kasama po yan”. (Yes sir. There’s none indicated that the sale is for selected items only so it is included). To be safe, I took a picture of the ad with my mobile phone as “proof” that the item that I got is on sale.
After getting the usual items, I fell in line and when each of the items get scanned, I noticed that there’s no discount indicated on the receipt. I asked the cashier why there’s no discount applied on the item but she told me that the item must be excluded from the sale. I was surprised since the ad shows that there are no exceptions mentioned unless the item has been previously marked as a sale item. Since the item has been scanned and I’ll be needing it anyway, I just proceed with the transaction but approached a store manager after that. I told her my dilemma and asked why does the item doesn’t have a discount despite of the ad hanging infront of the item. To clarify my concern, I was transferred to a store supervisor and we went to the area where the item and the ad was displayed together. After thorough discussion with the store guys and the supervisor, they mentioned that the item that I got WASN’T INCLUDED in the sale and they made a mistake placing it and only selected items were on sale. Uh, SM, where’s the truth in advertising? I guess the ad was clear that no exceptions on the sale except for items previously marked as sale. I insisted on the one of the policy that I read in SM Cebu that if ever there’s inconsistency on the price indicated in the POS (price displayed in the cashier) and on the display in the rack, the lower priced display prevails but still they insisted that it was a honest mistake.
Then again, that further strengthened my doubts in SM having “sale”. They tout to have “sale” when they don’t really mean it at all. No wonder some of the items they bring out whenever they have these “3-day sale” events are old stocks or items found from the sale of other branches. Oh well.