Why dont we ever get the change back?

February 13, 2006

I am ranting against a phenomenon found everywhere, which I call the Bata fiddle. Everyone prices their tickets/services at just one rupee or five rupees below a certain round-figure total. For example, Ranga Shankara tickets cost Rs.49. Yesterday, we went for the Victorian Bangalore Walk, which is priced at Rs. 495.

I have no idea why this should be so. I mean, why not say Rs. 50 or Rs.500? Perhaps there is a sales- or other tax implication to it. Well, that’s not my beef. What I do dislike is, the way the change is NEVER returned to you when you pay with the round-figure money. When I buy ten tickets at Ranga Shankara, that’s ten rupees I should be getting back. Yesterday, my husband paid Rs.1000 for the two of us for the Bangalore Walk, and no change was given back.

We too feel bad about asking for such small sums of money, so we don’t. But I firmly believe that this kind of forgetfulness or alleged forgetfulness is not correct. The service provider SHOULD give the change back…It is up to the consumer to say, “Keep the change”, if s/he so wishes. If the service provider wants to keep the money, s/he should just say, in the first place, that the fee is Rs.5 or 50 or 500 or 5000. Rs. 495 means that five rupees SHOULD be given back.

Do others also have an issue with this?