Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cold Storage overcharging: 'What's the big deal?'

Lulin Reutens has written to me to defend Cold Storage (CS) against blogger Lucy Tan's complaint of overcharging because of a faulty weighing machine.

She says: "CS is a huge chain with hundreds of cash registers, each with a weighing machine. Isn't it possible that just one machine malfunctioned, and only for one item?

"The difference was a couple of dollars. I cannot believe CS was trying to cheat anyone for such a tiny amount and only once. And the suggestion of reporting (by a reader of the blog) to the weight and measures people seems like over-reacting.

"Anyway, she pointed out the error and they corrected it and she bought the item at the correct price. So what's the big deal?

"I would be the first to complain about bad service and cheating behaviour. But don't you think we should be more judicious in our complaints?

"Singaporeans already have a reputation of being complainers. Doing it without thought would not help our cause."

Complaint about SIA toilet paper

As Lulin was giving her take on the CS complaint, she took the opportunity to mention her own about Singapore Airlines' toilet paper.

"What is the rationale behind SIA having only tissue paper in their planes' toilets, including the hand towel holders?" she asks.

"Have you tried drying your hands with tissue paper? No wonder bits and pieces fall into the sink and get washed down, clogging the slots in the draining hole.

"Is tissue paper so much cheaper than proper paper towels that it is worth annoying passengers? Or is it because economy class passengers don't deserve proper paper towels?

"If paper towels fill the waste paper container faster than tissues, then get the flight attendants to empty them more often!

"I have written feedback forms regarding this but have never received a reply. No other airlines that I have flown with use tissues for paper towels."


  1. No doubt SIA would say that they frequently run out of tissue paper! I have to say that when I am on flights in Asia, tissue papers are the first to disappear - and I don't think they go down the toilet or into the trash. So maybe SIA engineers could rig up as sensor that would dispense only a max. amount of tissues every time the lavatory door is locked? Of course the line of least defence is to load the lavs with tissue as they are doing.

  2. I would side with Lucy on this one - the government used to have people check on weights and scales but I don't know if they still do. If they did and do, there must be a good reason, certainly in wet markets.

    That's not to say CS is out to cheat, but aberrations need to be corrected before they become systemic.

    As Lulin spend much time in the USA, she must realise that consumers there take such things seriously. A well run company have maintenance people who should check machines regularly and calibrate/correct them.

    As for myself, I find consumers here in Singapore often get very short shrift.

  3. Haha, I just came by this blog today after I went to the CS Chancery outlet -- yet again. For convenience if nothing else and actually the non-cashier staff r usually more than OK. Like today : the staff who offered to fetch me a basket when he saw me holding a packet of gula Melaka and the butcher (fm the cold room) who saw me struggling with the plastic wrappers, offered to help me peel them open.

    Anyway, I'm most amused to read that Lulin actually defended CS. For heaven's sake. I didn't say the supermart was cheating; just sloppy in the way it prices and charges customers and not just once by quite a few times in my experience. Which is fine if the mistakes aren't without fail always on the side of the supermarket!

    Thanks 2 Anne for her support. I've used her good offices to contact the CS folks in the past but guess it's probably cheaper to overpay -- and if I catch it in time, make a fuss there n then -- than spend my time pointing it out to the management when they can't seem to get it right yet another time!

    Btw, that lady who complained abt Marmalade Pantry: from the points she highlighted it seems she may have some issues that have little to do the staff at Marmalade lol!