Thursday, May 04, 2006

Scales of justice

When out shopping at ASDA, David (aged 8.5) asked if he could have some Pick ‘n Mix rather than the normal three bags for a pound stuff we get him (cheeky monkeys, fried eggs, squishy strawberries etc.) We did point out that you got a lot less but he was willing to invest a pound of his pocket money so we helped him choose and weigh. There is a simple scale next to the area for estimating weight and it is charged at 52p per 100g so I told him that if he went up to 200g on the scale it would be about a pound (indeed slightly less as the pointer was a little over the zero mark).

Sweets subsequently chosen and weighed, we checked out and headed home. I had been a little surprised that the sweets had cost us £1.66 but we were pushed for timeand let it go (David goes to something called Kid’s club on Saturday mornings which is a sort of Sunday School and we fit shopping in after his swim and before the bible bashing). However, we persuaded David to hold off on eating the sweets (which wasn’t easy) and weighed them at home- 168g on our digital kitchen scales, not the 320g the receipt claimed. So, the Pic ‘n Mix scales had been roughly right and the checkout ones had over-weighed nearly double.

Karen’s reaction was to put it down to experience (after all, it was only 75p or so and it would cost us that in driving back to ASDA) but I was keen to be fair to David, as our careful explanation of how it all worked to him was somewhat negated by the reality. So, after dropping David off at his regular Kid’s Club event, back I dutifully trotted, to the “Happy to Help” desk.

They re-weighed them on another till and they came up 173g, well within the margin of error for my cheap kitchen scales. They were most apologetic, gave me the £1.66 back (in cash) and got someone to do a calibration check on the offending checkout. They did say it was more likely that something else had been on the weighing platform at the time rather than be wrong as they were regularly checked. However, we had used “Personal Shopper” so there were only two exception items, some battered Jaffa Cakes from the reduced shelf and the bag of sweeties (everything else was bagged up in the trolley). Maybe it was an elbow or a pen…

So, it pays to complain. David got to keep his pound, perhaps ASDA avoided a weights and measures incident (in the unlikely event that the scales were out of calibration and they were mystery shoppered that day). I got out of some housework (well, postponed it, anyway!) and even ended up with a couple of sweets from David. I also got the satisfaction of knowing I was right, something not the default state for a bloke in marriage!

No comments: