A Walmart customer trying to take advantage of a pricing error went to unusual extremes to make her case during last week’s Buen Fin shopping event: she chained herself to a scooter being advertised for 14 pesos, refusing to leave until the store in San Luis Potosí honored the price.
Although the annual sale event ended on November 20, the images of the woman chained inside the store next to the Italika brand bike recently went viral on social media.
The woman and six other customers had all tried to claim the scooter at the heavily discounted price, which was displayed in the store at 14.999 pesos instead of the intended 14,999 pesos. An agent of the consumer protection agency Profeco was called in to mediate the dispute and negotiated an agreement to honor the price only for the first customer who had tried to buy the bike. As a result, the unidentified woman chained herself to it.
To date, it is unknown whether the woman was successful in buying the vehicle at the discounted price or if she gave up her protest.
The Walmart Mexico and Elektra department store chains were highlighted in a November 23 report by Profeco in which agency chief Ricardo Sheffield said there had been a higher than usual number of consumer complaints about the two companies during this year’s Buen Fin.
However, Sheffield also said his agency received more complaints overall this year than last — 1,056, compared to last year’s 661.
The amount of money involved nearly doubled as well, from 4.2 billion pesos recouped for consumers this year versus last year’s figure of 2.3 billion. Televisions were the most common item at the center of Profeco disputes, Sheffield said.
“The chief reasons for the customer complaints were refusals by a business to sell to a customer or refusals to honor an advertised price,” he said.