Absent-mindedly, you wheel or carry your purchases to the counter and are astounded when the numbers are added up and the end figure is nowhere near what you expected. Sometimes, because the till attendant is smiling so sweetly and keeping the conversation flowing, you lose track of what he or she is ringing up and simply pay up because you feel your approximations were miscalculated. You might be confused at how your bill skyrocketed but will not think much of it.
Here is a word of caution; next time this happens, scrutinise your till slip and tally up your purchases because chances are that you might have been conned!
Up until recently, you often heard stories of items â€˜disappearingâ€™ right after they had been paid for and before they had been packed, especially if you had bought so many things.
A lot of people must have caught on to this and started being cautious because a new trend quickly emerged; now, some unscrupulous operators punch in larger quantities of whatever a customer has bought. So you might, for instance, end up paying for 20 bars of soap instead of the actual five that you have bought. They might even slip in a few other things onto your list, so you literally shop for them.Â I have heard, from quite a few women, how they uncovered the â€˜mistakeâ€™ and walked right back to get refunds from unrepentant till operators.
Because of this, I quickly figured out that something was wrong when I was overcharged for a couple of blank DVDs at a renowned chain store last week. The lady at the counter made a show of counting DVDs in a case and giving me an inaccurate number, for which I paid. The amount she conned me out of was minimal, but in principle what she did was wrong and symbolised either a lack of morals, desperation or both.
As would be expected, our unsavoury economic situation has turned ordinarily decent people into swindlers who will stop at nothing to milk a bit of money off whoever they can through all possible means.
At a time when every kwacha counts and astute budgeting is key even if you have more than enough to spare, we have to keep our eyes open and our purses ardently guarded against all those that might want to make a quick buck at our expense!