Nakumatt has been accused of stealing from its shoppers.
“This has happened a number of times in the past, and now I don’t buy that Nakumatt stores do this ‘accidentally’. I highly suspect deliberate deception at play here,” read a social media complaint from a shopper.
The obviously disappointed shopper went on to give details of how he fell victim to the alleged improper conduct by Nakumatt.
“Here’s the play: You get an item from the shelf, add its price to your cost calculator. You get to the till, your total cost is higher than you have on your calculator. You scrutinize the receipt and ask the person at the till about it. They make a comment implying that you are petty to ask about such ‘small money’ (pesa ndogo), or someone runs back to the shelf and comes back claiming that the till price is the correct price,” read part of the social media update.
In a bid to ascertain the claims made against Nakumatt, the team from dannish.co.ke sought the opinion of a few shoppers outside Nakumatt City Hall.
According to one shopper, the cost of a packet of Yankee Doodle coated ground nuts, which is priced at Kshs. 45/- on Nakumatt’s shelves, was miraculously inflated to Kshs. 55/- when the till attendant scanned its barcode at the counter. This shopper also purchased a 500 ml packet of fermented KCC milk worth Kshs 65/- and yet another packet of KCC Delite vanilla yoghurt at Kshs 87/-.
“I was armed with Kshs 200/- and from my calculations, I expected to receive Kshs 3/- as change. However, after the teller keyed in the items, he told me that Kshs. 200/- would not be enough since according to him, the total cost of the items I had purchased was actually Kshs. 207/-, ten shillings more than what my calculations had suggested,” complained the furious shopper.
“I had taken photos of the price labels on the shelf because I had heard that this sort of thing happens often and so when I checked the pictures on my phone it was clear that the price of the groundnuts had been inflated by a whopping Kshs 10/-,” the shopper continued in an angry mood.
A run through the comments on another irate shopper’s social media update revealed that this shopper’s experience was not an isolated one. Many other shoppers appeared to have experienced similar pricing inconsistencies at various Nakumatt branches and were as a result questioning the retail giant’s integrity.
When we raised inquiries with consumer protection awareness body, COFEK, they informed us that they were yet to receive any complaints about Nakumatt from any shoppers. In a quick rejoinder, they informed dannish.co.ke that should a formal complaint be raised, they would lodge formal investigations into the matter.
When we sought the opinion of Alfred Nganga, the Nakumatt Public Relations Manager, he explained the inconsistencies as being the result of a one price policy that is applied across the branches. He added that when a new price is updated in the central system, the process of having the same updated on the shelves at the branches usually takes a bit of time.
Despite the explanation given by Nakumatt, customers still continue to be misled by the erroneous pricing on the shelf, further fueling the growing discontent.
The question that now begs to be answered is whether this is a normal operational mix-up (the kind that could occur in the course of any large scale retail business) or the tip of an iceberg of calculated deceitfulness aimed at fleecing unsuspecting customers. We at dannish.co.ke will continue to monitor this developing story with a view to unearthing the truth. Keep it here.
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Special appreciation to @asaphchange for his invaluable help in putting this story together.