Take Action!

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 August, 2007, 12:00am

The column for anyone fed up with bureaucracy, frustrated with delays or furious with poor service. Tell us your complaint and we'll try to fix it ...

Dick Tibbetts, a regular customer at Taste supermarket in Festival Walk, is curious about why the large eggs on sale are not always large and why the shop never labels price by weight for poultry.

He said he hoped the supermarket would hear his voice.

'I am writing to you about Taste in Festival Walk because I find that filling in their customer service forms never results in any reply. I find that the large eggs on sale are not always large. In most boxes there are one or two small eggs. When I pointed this out to a member of staff, she told me it was the supplier who was at fault.

'The staff member suggested I open the egg boxes and replace small eggs by eggs of the size I have paid for. I shouldn't have to do this. Taste is supposed to have produce checks in place to prevent this sort of short-changing. In spite of my complaint, nothing has changed.

'The second complaint concerns pricing. While packs of pork and beef are labelled with the price per pound, chicken is not. I wish to be able to compare price per pound of chicken from different sources and to compare price per pound for different cuts.

'To tell me, as staff do, that 'chicken is sold by the piece' is not an adequate answer. ... I want to know why, and I want the practice stopped because I think customers deserve better treatment.'

A spokeswoman representing Taste explains that the eggs sold at the chain supermarket are pre-packed by suppliers and categorised into different sizes according to weight.

When these pre-packed eggs arrive at the warehouse, the shop conducts sample checks to ensure that these eggs are in the right size ranges, she says.

Regarding the sales format of chicken, the spokeswoman says, all fresh and chilled chicken in Taste have long been sold by pieces, and this practice is welcomed by the majority of customers.

'The average weight of every piece of chicken we sell is indicated either on the packages [for pre-packaged chilled chicken] or on the price tags [for fresh chicken]. We believe adequate information has been provided to enable our customers to make their choice,' she said.

Many people using long-distance phone packages have had a similar experience to that of Himal Gurung as they are changed to a more expensive international direct dialling package without receiving any notification.

Mr Gurung's complaint is against New World Telecommunications.

'I have been using IDD 009 service from New World Telecommunications without any problem for the last few years. The package rate I got from the telecommunications company was HK$2.11 per minute for calling Nepal.

'In March 2007 I changed my job and joined a new company. For work reasons I have to make an overseas call sometimes, and so my company registered my personal mobile number on their account to facilitate me to make the phone call after office hours for business reasons.

'In June I was surprised when I saw the bill for my mobile. The charge to Nepal turned into HK$6.70 per minute compared to my existing package of HK$2.11. When I checked with NWT, I was told that the charges were changed when my mobile was transferred to the company account. The rate applied to my phone was the company rate.

'I think that is indeed a rip-off, as I did not transfer but just registered my mobile number to my company's account.

'Actually, there are different dialling procedures for making phone calls through the company account and my personal account. So I think NWT should at least send me two separate bills for the two types of calls.

'However, when I raised my concerns to their staff, their attitude was rude.'

New World Telecommunications said in a letter that Mr Gurung registered their IDD 009 service with his mobile phone number in April 2005 and he requested a transfer to a business account this April.

An NWT customer service officer contacted Mr Gurung and transferred his mobile phone number back to his personal account.

A spokeswoman for the company said they had also waived the charge difference between the two calling rates as a gesture of goodwill.

'We have escalated Mr Gurung's concern about our salespersons' attitude to the corresponding department head for immediate improvement,' she said.