should I pay for the damage while shopping ?

@magic9 (981)
China
July 28, 2009 9:03am CST
Yesterday at Tesco supermarket, an unpleasant thing happened to me. I was shopping for bulbs on the second floor of the supermarket. As soon as I fetched one from the shelf and was going to open it, a bulb dropped from the bottom and immediately smashed. I was hardly aware what was happening when the sales girl beside me said to me in a hard voice " you must pay for it". But I didn't open the case at all. Instead, it was already opened by someone before, maybe a long time ago, who knows? I was mad at her attitude and asked her to accompany me to the service desk but she refused. And what was worse, she emphasized that I should handle it more carefully. How could I? How could I predict that the bottom of the case was open? Quite the opposite, if there is someone who is responsible for this, I think it should be her because it was her duty to see to every item is arranged on the shelf safe and sound and neatly. So my fellows, who do you think should take responsibility for this?
6 people like this
33 responses
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
Wow, I'm sorry you experienced that. Well, for one, I know that it wasn't your fault. So it's wrong that she would have said that in that manner. If you have taken the top box, and the bottom one fell along with it, wouldn't they have issues then with their products organizing? If a consumer is unable to see what goods he/she is going to purchase, then why would they even try new products? The second thing is, was there a sign saying, "once broken, considered sold" ? And even if they said that, you weren't actually holding that box, but it would then strike a cautious warning in your head that these are highly breakable thinsg and that you wouldn't want to actually break something you don't want to buy, then you'll be more cautious on carrying your basket or pushing your shopping cart and so on.. So yes, you are right, the supermarket should take responsibility for this because you weren't even touching that bottom bulb that they didn't organize their products nicely. Not your fault.
@magic9 (981)
• China
28 Jul 09
hi, thank you for all your fast responses. yes, I didn't pay for it but went to the customer service center to report this. There was not even any finger print of me on the bottom of that box. And the sales girl surely saw the accident when I was holding the untact box. To prove I was clear, I went with this box and broken bulb directly to see the chief who let me go later. but my pleasure for yesterday's shopping was surely spoiled a lot.
1 person likes this
@schulzie (4064)
• United States
28 Jul 09
I don't think you should be responsible for this because as you said it was already opened when you picked it up. If a salesgirl standing next to me, seeing this happen, were to say that to me I would have demanded to speak to her manager immediately. I would not move from the spot. As a matter of fact I think I would have gotten my cell phone out, with the camera in it, and taken a picture of the floor, the package, the salesgirl, and the area. And then I would call the front desk myself and ask to speak to the manager and ask him to come to the area of the store where this happened. Oh yes, I would make a BIG STINK out of this. And if he agreed with her and made me pay for the item I would never go there again, I would spread the news as far as I could about their policies, and how they handled this. I would make a discussion here on myLot, I would e-mail all my friends and contacts. They would regret crossing with me. It was not your responsibilty to pay for that item. Have a great day and happy myLotting!!!
@cher913 (25891)
• Canada
28 Jul 09
well, here in canada where i live, most stores have a budget for something like this and for good customer relations, the absorb the cost of the broken item. accidents happen and it probably wasnt your fault. if i had to pay for it, i dont think i would be going to that particular store any longer.
2 people like this
• United States
28 Jul 09
I would certainly not pay for it...unfortunately there are many salesclerks who are lazy and do not do the proper job to keep their department the way they should. It should never have been opened already, and her attitude would've irritated me, also. She should have realized that it was an accident.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jul 09
How do you know the container wasn't opened after she had cleaned the area? Employees have mass areas to clean and normally get told to do it once every 1-2 hours so if she already did it that hour then you can't blame her for it. People need to be careful when handling objects, especially light bulbs. Does it not occur to people how easy they are to break?
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jul 09
Still say, it was an accident. A good salesperson wouldn't have been as rude as she was, whether or not it was opened after she straightened the area out. I know I would've never returned to that store if they had made me pay for it, and I certainly would've reported that salesperson for her attitude. Why blame the customer if the box was already opened. If she can't understand how this accident could've happened, then she shouldn't be working on the floor and dealing with the people.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jul 09
Well if you don't want to break items then be more careful and make sure they aren't even open, because guess what nobody knows if you did open that container or not besides you and therefore nobody can take your word on it. They can't change their rules just because you feel that you are a special needs case. I work in retail and if you damage something of course you should have to pay for it. I'm just glad the girl was there in order to tell you to pay for it. Who knows what you would of done otherwise... perhaps left it on the floor and waited for some child to come step on it so you wouldn't have to pay for it.
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
30 Jul 09
[b]Chill! Who the heck peed in your cornflakes?? I know BOTH sides can damage things, & no-one likes complaints. The facts are: a light bulb was broken, the customer said she didn't do it, & the salesperson was rude. Even if she HAD broken it, it had to have been an accident, & the most the shop girl should've done is politely state what the store policy was, & then call for cleanup. IF the store was silly enough to expect such merchandise as cheap bulbs not to be covered under "damages" (usually the case in high-volume market places), then if I were the customer, I'd have paid under protest, then never shopped there again. The general rule of thumb in large markets is this: if a product is expensive, the store keeps it in a place where the customer (or child of same) simply can't pull it off the shelf & break it, because they might not even have enough money to cover the thing. Conversely, if it's cheap enough to be included under "damages" fees, then a smart store lets it slide, knowing the customer will spend far more money there & more than make up for the loss of a bulb. Plus, they'll spread the word to others who will ALSO spend THEIR money there. No, the poster should NOT have had to pay for it, nor should the shop girl have been rude. EVEN SO...being a former working woman myself, I can also say the shop girl may just have been having a bad day, & thus, she shouldn't be fired--just for one bad experience (though she should apologize to the customer). But I'd keep an eye on her, were I her boss, just to see if there was a pattern. Maggiepie "WHERE'S THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE?"[/b]
@rainmark (4306)
28 Jul 09
Well as the box is not sealed and it was opened already, i think you should not pay it. You should go to customer service desk to complain about it and the attitude of the sales girl. She neverdo her job well. And she should not talked to you with hard voice, your a customer she should do a good service to you and not treated you like that. She must get fired.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jul 09
Have you ever worked in retail? There are a ton of people as customers that give employees a hard time and at that point if someone is refusing to do something or starts complaining you need to be firm in order to handle the situation and for them to know they aren't getting away with it. You have only heard one side of the story so stop assuming this girl really had an attitude - you never know. She was doing her job and doing what she was told. She doesn't need to be fire. There are a ton of people that come into my work and start complaining and even after saying the rules over and over again with a smile they still continue to try to get out of it and those are the people that start getting rude first so we get told, at that point to be firm and continually tell them sorry not our fault, its our rules, its our policies, we can't change them for you because otherwise we would have to change them for everyone. Its really funny to hear everyone stating how so many employees need to get fired when really there are more customers that cause issues then anything.
@ShellyB (5244)
• United States
29 Jul 09
I am not sure if it is Tesco policy for the employees to pay for damaged merchandise, if it is then it is her who should pay, I am sure the reason she did not wanted to face her manager was her bad attitude with you, she imagined with good reason she would be the one on the wrong.
1 person likes this
@cwong77 (2011)
• Malaysia
29 Jul 09
Do you see the sign, once broken considered sold? If you don't then you are not responsible for it.. as you are not being warned for careful handling. Also, if the box was open at the bottom, it's not your fault that the bulb broke. If I am you, I will make a report against this, and will not pay for the damage bulb. And yes, the sales girl is rude to make such a comment. Even you are to pay for it, she should be apologising for this accident to happen.
1 person likes this
@snowy22315 (47081)
• United States
29 Jul 09
I think I would not pay for it, and posssibly avoid that store for awhile in the future. Usually supermarkets are pretty tolerant about things like that happening, I'm surprised that happened to you. I think you were probably in the right however. The shopkeeper was overzealous.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jul 09
No, it shouldnt be your responsability at all. They should have a damage account for such accident. I would definitely ask for a supervisor in a such situation to ask for further assistance. It is very poor customer service, maybe the girl who talked to you wasn't that old and experienced. Thanks
1 person likes this
@ruworth (149)
29 Jul 09
Tesco will or should just put it down to damaged stock as it is clearly not your fault. Supermarkets get alot of damaged stock, even when employees get hungry on night shifts and open stuff, when its found it is put in a cage as "damaged stock"
1 person likes this
@aschip (166)
• India
29 Jul 09
I think you should not pay for it, its not your fault. Also as some1 said, if they make you pay for it, dont ever go to that store. Good that you mentioned the name of the store, you should post its address too, so that all those who live nearby will not go there as well ...lols... Dont think too much, you are not at fault and dont pay for it !
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jul 09
Heck no, you shouldn't of had to pay for that, not like it was your fault, you didn't open it. Everytime i go into walmart i'm always yelling and scolding my son,who is almost 3, not to touch anything because i thought that if I broke i bought. that's what i grew up understanding, but one day when we went into walmart I heard someone say don't worry if you break it u don't have to buy it. so i was relieved. But I can understand if you broke something in an expensive store or an art gallery and were expected to pay for the item that broke, but in a supermarket you've got to be kidding me. crap breaks in those stores everyday, either by kids or adults. So unless it's marked on the front door. *You Break You Buy* then i wouldn't worry about it. and the thing about the lady not wanting to accompany you to the service desk I would of went and complained about her additude and walked off. lol
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jul 09
No I would not pay for it, in USA the store should feel lucky you did not sue. What if you had gotten cut, the store employee should have seen the catastrphe waiting to happen and even asked if you were alright before admonishing you to pay. I would not be revisiting.
• United States
28 Jul 09
Well, I believe they should have cameras there already, can't be your fault when you never opened it. Touching it doesn't count as anything. The store should take responsibility for it. They do have workers to go around and check their product and make sure all the lines and assembly of the place is clean and organize.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jul 09
This is ridiculous. I've worked in a couple grocery stores, and every one of them has a "the customer is always right" policy. As someone mentioned, they have a budget for stuff like that. When a store has that much product, of course some of it will be damaged. A lot of stores even have a clearance/damaged shelf. They should definitely not have been rude to you and you should not have had to pay for it.
@machizmo (279)
• United States
28 Jul 09
I would push that you went there to shop and should not be responsible for the lack of good placement of the products on the shelf.
1 person likes this
@eichs1 (1934)
• Philippines
28 Jul 09
I experienced the same thing in one of our local stores. This time, it was the guard who saw what happened. I was trying to reach some stuff on an upper shelf when a stock on one of the lower shelf fell off and was broken. The guard called one of the store personnel then they both approached and told me that they have this "you broke it, you pay for it" policy. I asked the guard if he saw me touching the broken goods. He said no, so that cut-off their argument. I asked them to bring me to their store manager/supervisor but we did not have to because the store personnel said they will report it as "damaged stock".
1 person likes this
@x_Jo_x (1042)
28 Jul 09
I think you shouldnt have to pay! She should have a better attitude towards you aswell, what ever happened to "The customer is always right"?! She should ask what happened and then nicely say "Unfourtunatly you will have to pay for it, im sorry" Or something. Its not like you picked it up and threw it across the store! Or like it was something very expensive like a posh glass. It wont dent their profits so why does she have to be so hostile about it?! Some people are so rude! I think she should definatly be blamed for it!
1 person likes this
@mickly08 (769)
• China
28 Jul 09
Terrible .You can consult with supermarket manager. It is useless to negotiate with sales girl. I think you should not responsible for the damage .
1 person likes this