“I’m Overcharging You…So?” Welcome to the Post Office on Tenerife

Posted: July 29, 2010 in Links, Spain, Tenerife, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , ,

This is a tip that will save you money.

Two to three times a week we go to the Correos (Post Office) to post guides. We know the exact weight and postage and occasionally have to correct the staff who sometimes don’t seem aware of their own prices.

Being dilligent has saved us paying more than we might have done on loads of occasions, especially on the times that the scales aren’t set to ‘0’.

Real Tenerife Island Drives and envelope weighs around 190 grams; the cost of postage goes up by over €2 at 200 grams, so it’s something we keep an eye on. But I wonder how many people, especially visitors who don’t speak Spanish, simply accept the amount of postage that they’re charged without question.

Yesterday morning at the Correos I noticed that the scales already registered a whopping 11 grams before anything was put on it. It didn’t affect the price of my package, but I felt compelled to take up the cause of the unwitting customers who came after me (it could be described as being a busybody, I prefer to see it as being a consumers’ champion).

“Your machine already has 11 grams on it,” I pointed at the machine.
“Eh?” The girl behind the counter looked everywhere but at her machine.
“Your machine already has 11 grams on it,” I pointed again at the offending numbers glowing in the display.
“Aah,” realisation dawned. “It doesn’t really make a difference.”
“Not to my parcel, no, but maybe it will to the next customer.”
“It’s not a big problem…venga,” she looked at the machine, shrugged and put her head down, dismissing me.

Scales that aren’t set to ‘0’ are commonplace. I don’t think it’s deliberate – maybe even the scales have a mas o menos mentality – and when it’s pointed out, the counter clerk resets them immediately. But she didn’t.

In my book her inaction meant she was deliberately overcharging customers. Whether it’s inefficiency, incompetence, deliberate fraud, or just plain stupidity I don’t know. What I do know is that none of the above are an acceptible reason to cheat people.

So next time you’re in the PO, always, always check the scales before the clerk sticks your letter or parcel on them .

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