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Monday, November 04, 2013

On Consumer Responsibilities



So the other week, my best friend Den and I had a catching up date. Since 1.) we're girls and 2.) we really have a lot of catching up to do, we decided to head to Bizu ( in Robinsons Magnolia) for afternoon teatime. We were conversing and exchanging stories as normal best friends would do, and when we were about to leave it happened to be Bizu's bread sale time.

I picked out packs Ciabatta and Focaccia breads, and headed onto the cashier. I was already about to pay when a lady suddenly stormed into the cashier area and berated the staff that the Focaccia bread she bought got moldy the next day. I said that the same thing happened to me, and well I guess it's my fault for saying that that she used the statement as fuel to berate the staff more.



She threatened them that she would never buy anything from Bizu again, and that she wants her money back. She said that she would just run some errands and expects that when she returns to the counter, her money-back should already be there.


The staff were trying to calmly explain to her that they cannot ensure their breads to last as long as other brands' products do because they don't add in preservatives (maybe they were referring to the bromates often added to preserve bread), but she couldn't be convinced and nagged them until she left the premises.

After she left, I explained to the staff properly (since I could not talk while the lady was there), that our family had also experienced the same thing but we didn't complain like that lady did.

I said that for one, we live in QC and to go to Greenhills just to berate them over a 40 peso piece of bread would not be worth our time and travel expenses (mahal na po ang gas, mga kaibigan).

But other than that, it was because we knew it was our fault. We bought the bread on my birthday this year (April 27), amidst the sweltering summer heat. And we failed to refrigerate the bread nor put it in an air conditioned area. So we were not totally surprised that the bread had gone moldy the next day.

And it's true, if you look at the ingredients panel you'd see that there are no preservatives in it. This is why the bread can't last for too long.


I regret not taking a photo of our moldy bread and that lady's moldy bread (I never expected I'd write about them someday hahaha), but I dunno, if her story is true that she had just bought it the day before, the molds are too many. Too many that my suspicion is that she probably left the bread in the car, forgot to take it out, and was surprised to come back to a moldy pack of Focaccia bread. Any fresh food that you leave in the car's insulated environment for too long will also spoil and get moldy, not just Bizu's bread. 

Of course, I don't want to jump into conclusions and make assumptions. 

But the bread that I bought from that fateful purchase, upon immediately keeping them in an air conditioned room and placing them in the refrigerator after a day, lasted more than a week with no problems whatsoever

 I think that there is an unwritten code of consumer ethics that not everyone is getting. 

Like when buying food, there are proper storage methods. Any bread that you do not refrigerate in the Philippine heat within 2 days of purchase will go bad. Any food that you leave in the car for more than 8 hours will be spoiled once you get it.  And when in doubt, you can always put the food in the refrigerator or keep it in air conditioned area. Or simply eat it all in one go (though I don't highly recommend this). 

I never thought that I'd have to write about this because I've always thought that basic food storage methods are things that come naturally to people. 

i'm not sure, but it also might be because of the common Pinoy illness of not reading signs and what not. I think we're the only country whose people keep on asking about things even when it's already explicitly written on a signage or a label. 

Whoever made the 'the customer is always right' slogan isn't the best person in the world, in my opinion. 


As for Bizu, I am just impressed by how calm the staff at Bizu were in dealing with this. I was not paid to write about this at all (my friend and I paid almost 400 for those cakes and an additional 200 for tea, you know); it's just that I feel that what happened in their store is worth pointing out to everyone.

And may their 10++ years of macaron reign in the Philippines be even longer.  


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