Sunday, January 18, 2004

Does Malaysian companies think we are morons?

Have you ever come across an advertisement that sounded too good to be true? Recently I came across this promotion by Senheng in the Star newspaper, where they are offering an I Bhd video camera for only RM66 for all Mastercard users. So I went to the nearest Senheng outlet in SS2 Petaling Jaya and this is what happened.
While we were looking for the camera, a very helpful sales assistant came and asked what we were looking for. So I asked him for the video camera (on promotion). He asked us to wait while he went to talk to one of the senior staff. After a while, he came back and gave a lame excuse, “Sorry ah! Out of stock.” So we asked him whether there was another Senheng outlet nearby where we could go. His reply was “all out of stock”. Anyway, since we were there we decided to look around at the other stuff on sale. While showing us around, this guy told us that the normal price of the video camera was around RM700. So??? So if we wanted to buy it for RM700+, it was available. Then he went on to tell us that it was on offer for MBF credit card users. I thought it was out of stock. And its AM bank now, moron.Thinking about it later. Maybe I was a bit harsh and I don't think its that porr guys fault. He was going on and on about how there was no proper instruction from headquarters till we realized that there was some bullshit going around here. We decided never to go anywhere near another Senheng outlet again.
A lot of companies seem to think that we are all morons out here. They also seem to have forgotten that there is something called ethical advertising. A recent case was that of Air Asia. I agree with the transport minister when he stated that there was a misrepresentation in the airline ads. Of course Fernandes can say that only a few complained. The problem is that not many or only a few customers are complaining. That is because most of us couldn’t be bothered to go through all the shit just to complain. Their attitude seems to be "You pay peanuts, you get monkeys!" Right! So don't complain Of course, the tidak apa attitude also takes its toll and in the end companies think that as long as customers don’t complain, everything is alright. The company has a duty to inform the public that the super duper offers are for a limited number of seats (mention the number of seats on offer) and that you have to book early. Also look at the number of contests encouraging people to buy stuff – draw their logo in the most creative way, count the number of items in the car, the most creative slogan and so on. Well I am one those contest freaks and so far I haven't won any. Call me a poor loser but I noticed that many of these contest lack transparency. In many cases the pubic is unaware how they select the winners. And its not the first time that I heard rumours that many of these contests are fixed so that the prizes go to relatives of the organizers. The Govt. definitely needs to look into this and fix proper guidelines for organinsing contests. In other developed countries like the UK and Australia, all these companies would have been sued left and right. What are all the consumer rights bodies - ERA consumer, FOMCA, CAP, Consumers International etc, etc - doing.

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