Thirty-five opportunistic shoppers got the bargain of their lives in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, yesterday, paying just five pesos (US $0.26) or less for widescreen plasma televisions.
But before they were able to take their purchases home, the customers had to endure a wait of almost 20 hours.
At around 5:00pm Thursday several people shopping at a Bodega Aurrerá supermarket in the northern border city noticed that a variety of electronics, including televisions, computers and speakers, had been incorrectly marked with prices of two, three and five pesos.
Eager to take advantage of the big discounts, some shoppers loaded up their carts with as many as five items and made their way to the checkout to demand that the prices be honored as required by law.
As has happened in previous cases before, store staff refused to respect the marked price, arguments broke out and the consumer protection agency Profeco, which usually sides with customers, was called to intervene.
Presumably to prevent more shoppers arriving to try to take advantage of the offer, employees shut the supermarket’s doors although municipal police entered to prevent an escalation of the confrontation between customers and staff.
After Profeco officials failed to arrive on Thursday 35 bargain-hungry customers refused to leave the store, fearful that they would lose the opportunity to take home their purchases. Instead, they remained in the supermarket overnight in the company of police.
At around midday yesterday an agreement was reached between Profeco officials, supermarket management and customers that stipulated that the prices would be honored on the condition that each shopper could only purchase one television, most of which exceeded 40 inches in size.
Pricing bungles resulting in customers going home with outrageous bargains are relatively common in Mexico.
In July last year, a shopper in Tamaulipas got 9,000 pesos worth of deodorant for less than 40 pesos, while in November 50 happy customers in Chihuahua took home televisions for just 10 pesos a pop during the annual shopping event known as El Buen Fin.
Source: El Financiero (sp)