Thursday, September 22, 2011

Making cents

I hate that stores still insist on quoting stupid sodding prices, a few cents below a nice round number, because we're all too stupid to realise that 0.99 is NOT the same difference as paying 1euro. 

I understand the psychology that it looks less, but surely this only works on larger amounts - like 900 versus 1000euros. A difference of 100 bucks is worth considering... if you're looking at spending that much anyway.

But "Now just 9.99 euro!"...? 
Call it a tenner and forget the sodding coins. 

At least supermarkets have taken the liberty of rounding up or down to the nearest 5c. So now, when your bill comes to 34.44, they'll give you 1x 5cent piece instead of 3x 2c coins. Woo-frikken-hoo. 

But there are still a lot of 1c and 2c pieces in circulation. It irritates me, but for the most part I don't care. I take the nitty-gritty coppers and generally just chuck them in a pile, to be ignored or thrown away. GBM on the other hand, actually uses them. He will, on principle, stand and count out the exact amount. It's a running joke between us, and I kinda love him for his old-man crotchetiness about it.  

So, who is more right or more wrong, when GBM wanted to pay the exact amount... but the Albert Heijn supermarkt would not accept it?

The total on the till, said 34.44. 
The cashier quoted 34.45, as is company policy. 
GBM wanted - and had exact coins - to pay the 44 cents precisely. 
Neither would budge. Managers were summoned.

GBM's POV: "It's just one cent."
AH staff's POV: "It's just one cent."

Eventually GBM had to cave - he paid the up-scaled version. I'm pretty sure (okay VERY sure) that I would've stormed off without paying, stomping on the groceries and spitting on their flower display on the way out.

But it would be nothing more than a hissy-fit. 

We would have to go back anyway - it's our local supermarket, and the Dirk v/d Broek chain across the way has exactly the same policy. So we can't exactly vote with our feet. You don't need to be a maths genius to know that "rounding up" means that the supermarkets are making more than just a few cents here and there  with this system. 

Still, I don't understand why you can't be allowed to pay exact amount when you actually have it. 

Either that, or please can we all stop pretending that 99c is any different to 1 euro? 


rd said...

That's interesting.
Because in my country of residence, the supermarkets are legally not allowed to round up.
They have to round down from 34.44 go 34.40, otherwise they are overcharging their advertised price.
If you pay by card, you pay the exact amount.

Anonymous said...

There has been big debate about the very same thing here in the last week or so. All your arguments have been voiced and no answer to the problem was found :-(
BIG RIP OFF - I say.

Anonymous said...

It depends in what currency you're counting the 1c coins as to how much of a difference it makes. Funnily enough GBMs twin also collects coppers, and uses hem to pay for parking or odd things :-)
Little big Sis