I am always on the look out for a deal. Often in the supermarkets, we encounter weird things packaged together,like mayonnaise and tuna fish, which makes a sort of logic. Or laundry detergent with potato chips which doesn't. Sometimes these things are bargains, sometimes they aren't. I compare prices, I even carry a little calculator with me because it isn't always easy to do the cost analysis in my head. One thing that really bugs me is packages emblazoned with 20% more product for free and that item is priced higher than the regular size sitting beside it on the shelf.
Today, I ran into Chedraui to replenish my supply of lavender toilet water. As I reached for the giant 800 ml bottle I noticed just below it the exact same 800 ml bottle shrink wrapped with a small 110 ml bottle and the words GRATIS 110 ml!! . My lucky day, I thought, then I noticed that the price on the shelf was $20 pesos more .
Anyone who knows me realizes that I don't seek out conflict but anyone who has known me for any length of time also knows that occasionally I snap, I get irritated and then look out!
I took the two items up to the register. I politely asked the cashier if she could please check the price on both items. Our conversation went like this after she confirmed that there was indeed a price difference. With a nod to Bob Mrotek, I'll do the conversation in Spanish and then English.
"¿Entonces hay una diferencia de veinte pesos?" le pregunto.
"Sí, eso es correcto." Me contesta.
"Pero, este dice ciento diez mililitros gratis y las botellas grandes son iguales" le explico con calma.
La cajera hecha un ojo sobre las dos botellas."Así viene la promoción, son diferente códigos"
"Lo entiendo,veinte pesos es un buen precio para la botellita, pero eso no es gratis. Gratis significa que pagas nada,¿ correcto? Esa gratis is una mentira. Veinte pesos no es mucho pero me siento engañada.
"Le llamo el encargado de ese departamento."
"So there is a price difference of 20 pesos?" I ask.
"Yes, that is correct." she answers,
"But this one says 110 ml free, and both of the large bottles are the same" I calmly explain.
She checks out the bottles.¨Yes, that is the way the special came, they have different codes."
"I see, 20 pesos is a good price for the small bottle, but that is not free. Free means that you don't pay anything doesn't it? This free is a lie. $20 is not a lot but I feel tricked."
"I will call the person in charge of the department for you"
After a short wait, someone appeared. My cashier explained my concern to her in a low voice. I eavesdropped, the word PROFECO was mentioned by the cashier. After another wait, the cashier rang up my purchase and it came up the same price as the solitary bottle.
Victory is sweet, and today it smells like lavender water.