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Consumer Watch

Price changing is a trick to make us think we're getting a bargain

I believe that much of the incorrect pricing by the supermarkets is caused by their constant changing of prices, trying to deceive their customers into thinking they are getting a bargain. For example, a Frey 300gm chocolate bar on the shelf at the Supersol was marked NIS19.90, for which I paid at the cash counter NIS10, ONLY because I knew the price despite the label and made them double-check the information at the main counter on the computer.

Harpic Toilet cleaners, priced at NIS11.90, which I first checked out at a cash counter before putting in my trolley, were only NIS8.90 – so I took four. Unfortunately if you do not remember what you have paid in the past, or noted the price that was mentioned in the sales brochure of that supermarket, then you are likely to be overpaying on quite a few of your purchases.

Use soap to keep those moths at bay

At the beginning of the summer, I start putting away the heavy winter clothes. To avoid damage from those small beige moths, I use bars of soap amongst the clothes in the drawers. I also cut up bars of soap into four and put the pieces in the pockets of jackets and trousers that are hanging in the cupboards.

Watch out for the word 'refurbished'

One little word that I have started to be beware of – a word that until recently was hardly ever used in my vocabulary.

I have been looking for sometime for a laptop for my granddaughter, and finally found what appeared to be a good bargain. I asked to have a copy of the written specifications. I was told that they did not have such a list. When I had almost decided to buy the laptop and insisted that I needed to show the details to my son, as computers are not my field, they finally "managed to find" me a long 2-page detailed list. And guess what? When I got home and carefully read everything written, I found in tiny, tiny but bold print on the last line of the second page, the word "refurbished" (in Hebrew)!

I then picked up the phone to another big company that is also in the same field and asked if they do sell "refurbished" computers and the reply, to my surprise, was: "Occasionally, yes". So you now know to check this out when buying.

New rule means that old fridge has to be taken away free of charge

The Ministry of Economy and Industry has brought in a new regulation: that all suppliers of large electrical goods such as washing machines, refrigerators and freezers have to also be prepared to remove the old piece of equipment without any extra charge if requested at the time of purchase of a new machine. This is similar to the regulations demanding contractors to be responsible for the removal of old building materials from sites where they have been working.

In my instance, I asked when paying for my new freezer that my old one should be removed, and I was advised that this would cost NIS120. I complained and was told that the old freezer had to be by the door for the porter to take it without any charge. Fortunately, where my freezer is situated is only a few meters from my front door, but I did note that no mention was made of which door the freezer had to be next to,

Simpler to do transactions via the bank

Whatever transaction you do with the banks, you are given a printed sheet of paper which details the transaction. This includes drawing out cash with a check. I pay our Bituach Leumi (National Insurance) with a check (usually a few months at a time) and I get a sheet of paper from the bank stating what I have done so, as well as a stamp in the booklet. However, when I make the same payment at the post office, I just get their stamp in the Bituach Leumi booklet. Now I know why my bank charges are so high!

When I was telling a friend about this, her remark was that it would be simpler to pay this via my credit card or directly from my bank account. Yes, she is right, BUT nowadays there seem to be so many small payments being made, and written explanations given by the credit card companies and on my bank sheets are very limited. For example: how was I to know that a debit to Sprint Motors was for a payment made to one of the petrol stations? 



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Friday, 08 December 2023

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