Ethics

For the week ending 6 December 2008 / 9 Kislev 5769

Taking Action After Being Shortchanged

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: After purchasing an item in my local supermarket I discovered that its contents failed to match the amount promised on the package. I felt that I was the victim of either the store or the manufacturer. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: If you carefully read what is usually written on the package you will note that the manufacturer invites complaints from consumers and promises to compensate them. It is not fair to blame your supermarket, because you cannot expect it to check every single item it places on its shelves.

There is another phenomenon which consumers such as you should be aware of. Some manufacturers decide to save money by reducing the amount they put into a can. Even though the new weight is listed, they rely on the fact that most consumers do not read the labels and they shirk their responsibility to inform the public of the change. Class action suits have been brought against such manufacturers who were either fined or compelled to somehow compensate the public by providing, for a while, extra weight at no cost.

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