You’re Not an ASS When …

This is just a little rant, and not exclusive to the Dominican Republic as it happens everywhere and yes … even in Canada … eh!

Yesterday I stopped at one of the local supermercados to pick up bread and sugar.  Not a big deal and not a large purchase.  Watching the cashier’s monitor I see that my change due from 500 pesos tendered is 393.07 pesos.  Imagine my surprise <sarcasm> when the screen was immediately ERASED!  She returned my change, of 390 pesos and no receipt.  I politely asked for my receipt, scanned it in the event that I was wrong in my thinking before speaking out.  NOPE I was “dead on balls,” with my assessment.  That’s an industry term.

I asked for my 3 pesos.  She refused to look at me, told me, “I have no pesos.”  Her bagger was a man of about 50 years old and glared at her.  He said not a word.  That’s OK because though it’s only 3 pesos, it’s my 3 pesos.  My response to her was, why should I absorb a 3 peso loss, it’s not my fault you are lacking 3 pesos.  If you don’t have, you substitute or give me 5 pesos.  Now, given the circumstances, I know full well that this was a scam.  You DO NOT end the transaction on the monitor until the change is rendered, that, is against most supermarket’s policies.  And, you immediately give the customer their receipt.  Or, you say, “I have no pesos for change, do you happen to have 2 pesos so I can give you a 5 peso coin?”  This was blatant thievery.

Yes it was only 3 pesos.  However, multiply that by 100 customers (not an unreasonable amount for a busy supermarket for an 8 hour shift).

Let’s do the math shall we:
8 hour shift
3 x 100 = 300

5 days
5 x 300 = 1500

4 weeks (roughly one month)
4 x 1500 = 6000

52 weeks
52 x 1500 = 78,000

That is a whole lot of pesos!  Roughly $2000 USD worth of pesos.  Yes, they make very little money in DR for salaries of menial jobs.  However, stealing is stealing.  I have my receipt, with the clerk’s name.  Am I going to publicly name the supermarket or the clerk?  Nope!  Only because it happens at all of them.  My purpose with this is to promote awareness, however, privately, I sure will tell all those I know.  DR may be a paradise, but it is a paradise with parasites.  I tell it like I see it.

Moral of this story is, get your receipt, count your change, and stand up for what is rightfully yours.  You are not being an ASS in doing so!




Listen to the palms…

~Loca Gringa

© Loca Gringa and

8 responses to “You’re Not an ASS When …

  1. You should call the supermarket and if it is a chain, let them know. Maybe not give the name of the cashier but to let the supermarket know that this is going on and that you are/have put it on the internet so that people are aware of what some of the employees are doing.

    • I will take the receipt to the owner of the market. It is not a chain but it is a large store. Unfortunately it is my word vs their word but they do need to be aware of the issue. On the flip side, they may not give a rat’s … ASS.

  2. Very good information. This probably happens where I live in Puerto Rico too, but I never check my change so I don’t know. Thanks for the tip.

  3. I am glad that you wrote about this. I have suspected this at our local grocery stores for years. The problem we have is that they don’t give electronic receipts. They don’t even have cash registers. They total up our bill on a solar calculator, then show us the amount. Half the time, the items aren’t even marked in the grocery store, so we have no idea how much they cost until we ask. I started asking for receipts. The clerks roll their eyes at me every time I ask for receipts because they say it takes a long time to write everything down. Honestly, I don’t care. “No importa,” I say. When I started asking for receipts, I noticed that my grocery bill decreased. Hmmm….I feel like I’ve been taken advantage of. Like you say, “Three pesos add up quickly.”

    • It is the same here in smaller stores where there are no electronics. However, most are descent. But always check the price before you buy and do the math. I can add as fast as they can punch in on their calculator and if I have to, I can sum up on a piece of paper, which I do on occasion and I always call them on it. If I want to give a propina, that is my choice, not theirs for the taking at their discretion.

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