04 September 2010


This morning, a canned fruit in my kitchen cabinet burst. Yes, it burst and sprayed some of the juice all over my other canned fruits and cabinet walls. After taking everything out to clean it up, I realised one of them already burst earlier, leaving a mess at the base of the cabinet. In fact, 4 of these cans were bloated with gas and the paper wrapper on 2 of them were almost completely black.

After cleaning up everything, I looked at the expiry dates on the cans. I decided to bring it back to the supermarket to exchange them because it was an in-house brand and the expiry date is in Jan 2011.

So there I was at the supermarket. When the cashier heard my story, she asked for my receipt which I could not produced because they were probably bought last year. She exclaimed that I must have stored them for too long and could not exchange for it without a receipt but she called for the supervisor anyway. The supervisor took a look at it and called someone else to entertain me instead as she conveniently sauntered away. I think he is the packer.

He too took a look at the 4 bloated cans and asked for the receipt. After explaining that even though I did not have the receipt, they should still exchange the cans because no one else in the market produces them since it is an in-house brand and that logically speaking the canned fruits were supposed to be edible since the expiry dates were not up. On the way to the back, he said that it is against the policy to change for me but that he would do it the first time for me and that if it occurs again, I should go to another outlet to do the exchange. He made it sound as if it was my fault and that he was doing me a favour by agreeing to the exchange.

That was when I flared up. I told him, for reasons that I mentioned above, that they should exchange the cans for me and that even if it happens again, I would still come back to this outlet for the exchange since I bought them here. I told him I wasn't happy with his condescending remarks and attitude, and that if they were unwilling to make the exchange, it I would go off. I threatened to call up the chinese papers and that was when you could see the panic in him. He grabbed onto my bag of canned fruits and refused to let go. That made me more furious. I raised my voice and told him to let go before I call the police. A few people were actually looking at us.

He finally let go of the bag and apologised to me. He agreed to exchange the products for me and explained that he shouldn't have made those remarks. After a while, I calmed down and relented. I told him I wasn't here to create a scene and that it was just a matter of principles for me to exchange the damaged goods. Yes, I might have stored the cans for too long but the expiry date was not up yet. So, the canned fruits were supposedly edible. I told him I dread to think what would happen if I had eaten them days ago. Would I get food poisoning or worse? Seriously, the smell that emitted from the cans were nasty. I dared not even open the cans to see the contents inside.

So anyway, he exchanged them for me and I left. Was I being unreasonable? I seriously don't think so and was merely exerting my consumer rights.