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On more than just money? How about some common sense for these “get-the-last-fil” campaigns?

May 28, 2011 12:34 by

This week, we read an article in Xpress that truly does define “hard hitting journalism.” The piece was on the lack of change, in particular the lower denominations, in the UAE. Xpress has touched on this pressing issue before and the particular article we are talking about was considered an investigative follow up.

The investigation went thusly: the journalist went to a shop and bought items for Dh6.35, and got 15 fils less in change. When said journalist spoke up against this grave injustice of being short-changed, a 25 fils was cast her way. The next time a similar instance occurred, the journalist refused the 25 fils that were offered and demanded exact change.

Not happy with the poor staff’s reply that they hadn’t extra change to tender, the journalist launched a complaint with the consumer protection hotline that, unsurprisingly, did not take any action against the offending supermarkets.

“The bottom line” this journalist concludes is “customers need to stand up for it as a matter of right, if change is to happen.”


If you were asking Kipp, we’d say the bottom line is “penny wise, pound foolish.” How much do you think you are losing out? And if salespersons are willing to shell out 25 fils every time they owe you 15 fils, what is the problem exactly?

This whole campaign of asking for the exact change strikes Kipp as being extremely trivial, in light of the fact that change lower than 25 fils are not in common circulation.

But Kipp, aren’t you missing out on the larger picture? If one keeps loosing every last 10 fils on a purchase, surely you will not become the millionaire you were to be otherwise.

Of course, Xpress would like you to believe you are losing out on big time. Take for instance the statement “Gulf News investigation has revealed that at least Dh50-Dh100 million is lost annually in transactions after purchases.”

Dh100 million, sounds like a big deal doesn’t it? But Kipp did the math. On an average, the UAE’s population is roughly 9 million. If you divide the two, it would appear that roughly, the average UAE resident looses Dh11 a year in short change.

Dh11? Woah, Kipp’s biting our sarcastic tongue right now. We didn’t figure it was such a big life changing amount as Dh11! That’s it, the buck stops here. We are on to those fiendish salespeople at the till. Kipp’s going to get every last fil as if our lives depended on it-cause it probably does.

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