Shoppers in Campeche and San Luis Potosí encountered some great bargains this week:
A 42-inch widescreen RCA television, regular price 6,000 pesos (or US $340) marked down to just 64.50 (or $3.65).
And a 25-kilogram bag of dry dog food, regular price 333 pesos for just 18.50.
But they were not legitimate markdowns; the discounts were the result of human error on the cards announcing the prices, and the latest tales of erroneous pricing in which the consumer watchdog agency Profeco normally sides with the shopper.
The televisions went “on sale” at a Bodega Aurrera in the city of Campeche but when several customers attempted to buy them the store balked.
However, one shopper pressed the case and the store manager agreed to drop the regular price by half. But the woman said when she went to pay, the cashier wanted to charge her 4,445 pesos instead of the 3,000 that had been offered.
The woman said she would take up the matter with Profeco, whose state representative said the store would have to respect the sticker price or face a fine of up to 300,000 pesos.
The story of the discounted dog food didn’t get as far as Profeco, although the Soriana store where the offer appeared tried to argue, the customer said in a Facebook post.
Alan Santana also used Facebook to offer to give away free dog food to associations that take care of street dogs or to any individuals who themselves wished to feed stray dogs.
He said he “won the battle” for the discount price despite efforts by store managers to prevent the sale, giving in after he threatened to go to Profeco.
It did not appear to be an amicable agreement. Santana concluded his Facebook post with the hashtag, #sorianaputos, which roughly translates as “Soriana whores.”
Earlier this month in Altamira, Tamaulipas, a shopper bought 9,000 pesos’ worth of deodorant for just 39.90 after a price card gave incorrect information. Profeco sided with the shopper in that case, too.