Thursday, September 24, 2009


[caption id="attachment_59" align="aligncenter" width="495" caption="the bag of rotten nectarines"]the bag of rotten nectarines[/caption]

I don’t get it. I really don’t. I have played back the incident in my head over and over again but I still don’t get it. Maybe the concept is too astute for my simple mind to understand. Someone please enlighten me. How many people in modern day Ghana spend over 30 minutes in traffic, waste fuel, time and energy just to tell a lie? Hold on, I’m getting to the point.

Yesterday some lady at Accra Mall’s Shoprite pissed me off big time!!! I’m still fuming through my ears. Let me start from the top. On Monday afternoon, I decided to buy some fresh fruits from the mall. I tried Koala but didn’t get enough variety as I wanted. So the next obvious grocery shop for me was Shoprite. It was a little after 4pm Monday afternoon, when I drove into the parking lot of the Accra Mall. At exactly 16.22.35hrs I had checked out the following (see pic below):

[caption id="attachment_57" align="aligncenter" width="412" caption="my authentic shoprite receipt highlighted for easy clarification"]for easy clarification, i've circled the needed sections[/caption]

I got home and did the usual, took out the fruits from the plastic bags and put them somewhere airy, like the kitchen counter or any other prescribed cool and dry place. Now by Wednesday morning (barely 30 hours after purchase), the nectarines had gone completely bad! I mean totally and absolutely rotten. I was disgusted. Just when I was about to dump it in the garbage, my mum asked that I go to Shoprite and show it to them. Knowing the negative standards of customer care in Ghana I was hesitant. But there was no harm in trying…or so I thought.

So I get to Shoprite with the bag of bad fruit in it and I ask at the entrance whom to see when a complaint had to be lodged. They directed me to the “1st window on the right”. I got there with my brother [he had suffered a similar attack earlier in the afternoon at Celsbridge. That's the subject for my next upload]. Nobody was there, then I see a lady coming in from the sweets section with a scared/worried look on her face. I tell her my mission, she takes the bag from my hand and takes it into another room.

Moments later a bigger, bearded, glum looking lady wearing some uniform walks up to me, puts the bag of bad nectarines on the checkout counter and proceeds to interrogate me. She first asks “Where is this from?” referring to the white grape holder I got from Koala. I tell her its from another grocery shop. She asks me why it is included in the ‘package’. I tell her it is because I wanted to prevent the rotten fruit from soaking the seat of my car. She then tells me that she finds my story very hard to believe because first of all the bag with the rotten fruit is from another shop and second, the grape container doesn’t bear the barcode of Shoprite. I ask her, “Madam, are you listening to me? I am not here to complain about barcodes or the grapes. I am here to tell you that your fruits are rotten!” I’m sure at that time she expected me to whip out the plastic bag I got when I bought them from under my sleeve and slap it in her face with it. No lady, it is usually the first thing you throw out. If you’ve ever bought stuff from the shop, you would know.

[caption id="attachment_60" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Rotten Nectarine I"]Rotten Nectarine I[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_73" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Rotten Nectarine II"]Rotten Nectarine II[/caption]

By this time my temperature was peaking. If I had any heart condition, now would have been the ripe time for it to show itself. I tried a little harder to make her understand where I stood in all of this and how very little I stood to gain. I showed her the receipt and the time I bought the product. Then she asks me where the other items on the list are. Heck woman! Are you comprehending any of this? Why do you want to know where the mixed dried fruit and the peach juices are? How does this help you address the fact that the fruits I have got rotten before ripening? Wait, there’s more. The next thing she asks is whether I refrigerated the fruits when I bought them. Now obviously this was creating a scene ‘cos I couldn’t keep my voice down any longer and neither could she. This went on for over 20 minutes. I heaved a sigh of disbelief and asked her if she thought I had nothing meaningful to do with my life other than to simply waste my time, steal a Shoprite receipt from someone, buy bad fruit from someplace else, jumble them up with Koala labels and walk chest out into Shoprite and ask for money or some form of refund? ¢10.50 may be a lot, but not enough for the stress involved in this level of scheming.

[caption id="attachment_74" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Rotten Nectarine III"]Rotten Nectarine III[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_78" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Rotten Nectarine IV"]Rotten Nectarine III[/caption]

During this altercation, one of her colleagues came trying to explain to me that the temperature that the fruits are kept in is different from that in my house, and without the same [weather] conditions, the fruits were bound to go bad. He, a little bit more reasonable than the bearded lady, asked what I wanted. I’m like dude, I don’t want your money, I don’t want anything from you, all I wanted to do here is to lodge a complaint. That’s all. You can eat all the rubbish fruit in this shop for all I care!!! You can very well shove it! (I didn’t tell them that though, I had to contain myself). Man, was I angry!

Next time I'll stick to buying banana and oranges from the side of the street.


  1. Sometimes it is difficult to comprehend these block-headed people that coporate entities, somehow magically, employ all the time to serve as interphase with customers or patrons of services. These 'intensely uptight people', pun and everything else intended, are always under the inexplicable impression that by just attending to you, they are rendering a favor.
    This sad situation has eaten deep into most of these service providers operational fabric and most of simply turn a blind eye to it. I know what you just went through because being the unassertive type, I fall victim almost all the time.
    The banks are also wading deep in this shameless melee of unprofessionalism which is unacceptable anywhere. There are some ladies at the ring road branch of Ecobank who make me shiver each time I want to ask for an over-the-counter withrawal forms. These glum-faced 'Rambos-in-froocks' render 'beatdowns' with their stares alone just as you meekly say, 'excuse me...' Now I get VIP treatment from that bank since that beautiful Saturday morning, when one of the 'loud-gum-chewing-no good- apology to all bank workers' had looked up and emotionlessly asked me 'What do you want?'... After 3 minutes of silence, my appropriate response which was heavy laden with all available expletives on this earth, produced the much needed results!!
    To all those who face similar situations, speak out!!! As far as a service is not free, demand what you are entitled to without fear.
    Sorry I had to go off like this, I'm just upset because I've been here too many times and have been writing a piece on this too. Thanks for 'stealing' your platform.

    - Andre

  2. this is totally taking the health of the consumer for granted. food and standards board rise to ur task and be up and doing.

    i've had to taste some pieces of grilled chicken from that shop and it was like....puke.

  3. Hell nooooooooooooo she did not do all that to my hommie. Lets round up the ninja's and immediately start a demo agaisnt shoprotten. Whaaaaaaatttt, what do they mean , did they write anywhere near the nectarine stand that refrigerate at shoprite temperature........ I cant believe them always ripping pple off with their .99pesewas whichin effect is anothe 1gh cedis.

  4. my pleasure Andre. if this gets em doing more and talking less, it's all we need abi?

  5. yes Sheila. she did. we for ninja them one time!

  6. Well its good to know that Ghanaians are standing up and demanding proper customer service.
    Most Ghanaians shy away from complaining so as not to be labelled "too know".....but i think all of that is changing now?

    I have seen some good customer service from that Ring Road Ecobank branch...........and frankly i was very impressed even thogh i got very crappy service from the market circle branch stanchart in 1991.

    But back to the bearded lady and rotten fruits from shoprite, they indeed owe you an apology.

    Being very busy i often patronize the services of Kaya Errands ,an errand service in accra (

    and on one occation i was unhappy with the quality of a particular item included in the grocery he delivered to my office,,,,,and as soon as i complained the kaya guy apologized instantly and asked me if i wanted an immediate refund or replacement ? i was so impressed that i gave him a fat tip !...............................................................

    now that is what i call good service!

    Ghana has come of age and consumers should demand good service as a right not as a favour.

  7. Hmmm sorry galfrnd, but customer care is somethg we dont hv in our part of the world. I hp more pple take up the challenge and demand gud customer services for their hard earned currencies. Kudos

  8. too bad. Report them to the hall of shame.

  9. on it. didn't know there was one. thanks for the heads up Esi.

  10. WOW! I knew customer service in Ghana was bad, but this?! It's really no wonder she was sprouting fur on her face! My condolences.

  11. "sprouting fur", that's a funny one.

  12. the images alone are nauseating.....