Unhappened Rip-off

There are times when you get frustrated with the system. Things are not delivered in time, post in slow, traffic sucks and consumer services too. It’s too hot and weather is killing you. You’ve a bad headache and do not want to go to office. If you’ve reached it, you want to take an early off. Problems, frustration, part and parcel of a karachiite’s life.

Clearly, we do get frustrated over a lot of factors happening around us. However, seldom one gets saved from a looming issue. This account is of such an incident.

Pie in the Sky

Few days back for my mom’s birthday, I contacted the said bakery for a sugar-free cake. (Incidentally, Hobnob, Kitchen Cuisine and even BreadPeople don’t make sugar-free cakes :P) I went to their Khayaban-e-Badr branch and ordered a ‘Rich Chocolate Gateau’ for Rs. 1,050 (double the original price due to material). I paid 500 in advance and told them the date I want it ready.

I call up the bakery on D day to find out if I can pick up my cake in the morning (11am). The attendant there (a shifty fellow to my observation on my first visit) answers, “Ma’am! Mein to Saturday se aap ko contact kerne ki koshish ker raha tha! (I’ve been trying to reach you since Saturday). Thank God you called!”

I become nonplussed by this remark because I gave my mobile number to them and I’m one of those people who do not even silence their phones while sleeping. “My phone was never off. What were you calling me about?”

“Madam, we’ve imported special sugar-free chocolate for your cake, which has increased the cost of your cake.”

“Are you baking this cake for the first time that you couldn’t tell me this when I came to order?! I want to cancel this order.” (fuming)

“But, Ma’am, I’ve gotten the baking started on my responsibility especially for you so that you can get the cake on time,” said in a very pleading voice.

I step back in my anger, thinking about his job and overheads. “How much more do I have to pay?”

Very prompt answer as if rehearsed: “Your total is now 1,800. You can pick the cake up at 2pm.”

I think, a 2.5 lbs cake for 1,800? Why didn’t I use the ‘Top Chef’ to get this made! I decided against an outburst on phone. I would deal with this face-to-face.

My lunch plans became late that day so I went to the bakery around 7:30pm to pick the cake up. I had readied myself that I would ask for an updated slip with the cost changes from the guy without which I wouldn’t pay an extra cent. Things however played quite differently to what I expected.

Another guy greeted me in the shop. I hand him the slip.

“Yours is the sugar free cake?” he asks.


“Rs. 550 in balance.”

I look up shocked but make no further comments. I pay him and take the cake away saving myself a big rip-off!

Conclusion: The day attendant thought to make some extra bucks from me. However, because of timing, I was spared some harsh-mouthing with this measly guy.

Be careful in paying for high-pricy commodities, especially be dubious of such explanations and investigate further.

4 Comments so far

  1. Raza (raza) on April 21st, 2008 @ 5:59 pm

    "Imported sugar-free chocolate", thats a new one! :)

  2. altafbest on April 21st, 2008 @ 9:03 pm

    during the past year i’ve noticed a seismic shift in the attitude of the so called ‘lower-middle’ class. i’m talking about clerks, electricians, carpenters etc. not only do they want more money, which is somewhat ok considering inflation but most of them also have decreased the quality of their service, and they do all this with remarkable arrogance and that is what bothers me. they want to have their cake and eat it too (no pun intended) as if they think its their right. maybe they think the leaders of our country have made tons of money through corruption so why not we. but thats another discussion.

    even my favorite restaurants have fallen for this ideology. increase prices and decrease quality of food. some of the best restaurants (okra, aylanto, cafe flo etc) try to increase the bill or charge you loads extra if you order an off-menu item, like the ‘imported sugar’ in your case. happened to me at okra. might not be policy but perhaps the waiters, cooks , managers get together to rip people off.

    buyer beware.

  3. barristerakc on April 22nd, 2008 @ 11:28 am

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me !
    be careful and go to the bloody shop and get the bast*** sorted out!!!!

  4. Shamsi (shamsi) on April 24th, 2008 @ 12:30 am

    Bad & sad , sorry about your ordeal. Though you pulled out safe unhurt.

    I strongly recommend WE all cross check final bills before presenting our plastics or Hard CASH to settle the payment at ALL Eateries across PAKISTAN. Ask for the Menu with the Bill and check the quantities ordered of the stuff.

    Invariably in Karachi few places are NOTORIOUS for Overcharging as HIGH as 30%, when reported and confronted it is attributed to "waiter"

    1. BBQ Tonite — they add up Nans,Raitas & Salad, Cold Drinks, Water bottles as common cases,.
    2. China Town
    3. Copper Kettle
    4. Jade Garden
    5. Sajjad & Al-Habib @ Super Highway
    – – –

    I have name of places in Lahore, Pindi & Islamabad but thats ir-relevant here.

    My Message – Excercise caution when settling payments at Eateries.

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