Monday, January 19, 2015

Rounding up to the nearest 5 or 10 sen, or daylight robbery?

Is it only me, or does anyone else notice what is being done at cash registers in supermarkets?  When an item costing, say RM1.83, is scanned, the amount automatically registers as RM1.85, because the system is programmed to register amounts that are rounded up to the nearest 5 or 10 sen. So if an item costs RM3.56, it will register as RM3.55, but items that cost RM2.53 or RM4.68 will register as RM2.55 and RM4.70 respectively.

Now, you may say that these amounts are miniscule, and nobody bothers about the 1 or 2 sen difference. But they are keyed in for every single item that’s scanned, BEFORE the final total. My point is, doesn’t it make more sense for the individual items be scanned in with their actual price, and then the total amount rounded up? That way, the consumer (or alternatively the supermarket) doesn’t have to lose out on every single item scanned.

Even if I lose 10 or 20 sen on my grocery bill, multiply that by the thousands of shoppers every day, and imagine how much the supermarket can profit just by programming in that algorithm alone?

In these days of rising costs of practically everything and hyper-inflation, every single sen helps. I’m already having to fork out much money for essentials, and can’t imagine what it must be like for families struggling to make ends meet.

Can Cold Storage, Aeon or any other supermarket or retailer justify what they are doing, or can anyone explain to me why this is being done?

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