The maximum retail price concept

Posted: February 18, 2007 in consumer activism, MRP, weights and measures

They have been doing a lot of advertising about how we should not be paying more than the declared maximum retail price (MRP) mentioned on any packaged product.

So here I was at the international airport in Mumbai, waiting to receive someone, when I walked up to the snack counter, to find that several packaged products were being sold way above the MRP. I asked them about the MRP but they insisted on getting more. Well, I did for that time, but later, I tried to look up some government website where I could register a complaint. Finally found one which was the Weights and Measures department, located at Delhi. There was an email there, so I went ahead and put the details there. And promptly forgot about it.

Till about a week or so later, when I got an email from them. Yes, surprise, surprise! They actually responded. What they conveyed was an address in Mumbai where I could complain. It did not mention their email address. Well, since there was a reply, I just printed out my old email complaint and sent it off. And again, promptly forgot about it.

Till a few weeks later, when I received a call. It took me like a few seconds to register, who was calling. Remember I had forgotten about this matter. But on the phone they mentioned that they did follow up on the case, went and did some of their own purchases and confirmed that indeed, there were violations happening. And then they took some action against them. And they had called me just to inform me.

That was neat. That a simple email managed to generate such action, that too in government, and that they actually called back, just to let me know!

Of course, in terms of the actual matter, it was shortlived joy for me. When recently, I went to the same airport again, and I walked to the same snack bar, they were selling stuff at higher prices, all over again! When I reminded them about the raid that they had, they gave ME the items at the MRP level. But for all other consumers, they were merrily selling the stuff at prices that were highly inflated.

I have taken the step to write to the Mumbai department again, for whatever it is worth. But as for the menace to be removed from society – I wonder if it can be done at all??

  1. USC Trojan says:

    It is actually, literally, unbelievable. Combine this with the return you got through Right To Information Act proceedings, it is truly something to be proud of for the Government agencies involved!

  2. SPM says:

    @usc trojan:
    Yes, what it encourages me to do, is to TRY each time now. Like there is a crazy signal that has come up across our road, and where people drive on the wrong side of the road, as they get a quicker U turn. I am going to write to the Traffic Police Mumbai, via their website, and see if I can convey to them, to review this. A couple of responses that I have got, encourages me to try to do more!

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