A By no means-Ending Tide of Scams

It appears to me like daily, the Lebanese are put by
a charade of scams meant to check (1) how vigilant they’re, and (2)
how unabashed they are often on the subject of calling out the perpetrator. In case you stay
in Lebanon, you already know precisely what I’m speaking about. False promoting?
Rampant. Simply go inside a “greenback retailer,” and you will discover that nothing is definitely for a greenback. Effective print? There’s at all times some
of that, however not often is it printed. Shortchanging? Would it not actually be a
Lebanese enterprise if it didn’t condone this?

Within the span of only one week, I’ve seen all of it, and it
sickens me now greater than ever earlier than. Why? As a result of the Lebanese individuals have
been stripped bare over the course of the previous two years and undergo from in a single day theft of their financial institution deposits, a failed state, a corrupt authorities, hyperinflation,
acute unemployment, lack of primary requirements, and an onslaught of each
conceivable bane within the ebook. So now isn’t the time to push their buttons. They’ve
been whittled to the bone and don’t should be subjected to the underhanded
techniques of shops, a few of which I’ve detailed beneath.


(Picture: Courtesy MGN On-line)

First working example:

One main grocery store was promoting 76-g baggage of Grasp
Kettle chips for six,999 LL. A large signal displaying the worth adorned the bin the place these baggage of chips lay, and so they have been bundled in twos,
wrapped with a yellow tape signifying what would universally be accepted as a
purchase one get one free provide.

Prospects have been clustering across the bin making an attempt to seize as
many bundles as they may, presuming it a good deal. Normally, a 76-g bag of
stated chips goes for 9,999 LL, whereas the bigger 144-g bag is marked at 17,999
LL. So nabbing two 76ers (or 152-g of kettle chips) for 7,000 LL is a discount.

One cautious buyer took the bundle to the closest
worth detector and scanned the UPC sticker affixed to it. The reader spit again “15,999
LL,” in sharp distinction to the marketed signal of 6,999 LL. Too late. Prospects
all through the course of the day had already greedily snatched up their loot and headed to the checkout
stands to pay. And the factor about Lebanese prospects is that they barely look on the receipt. Actually, oftentimes they’ll stroll
away from the cashier after settling fee and depart the receipt within the
register. So
think about what number of prospects purchased these chips in a frenzy, not realizing that
they have been actually paying greater than double the worth marketed, and near the
full worth of the commensurate giant bag. No deal right here!

I mustered the braveness to name out this rip-off to an worker
who was restocking the bin with extra chips. How may the shop be falsely
promoting the worth of these “on-sale” chips? He agreed that I used to be proper and apologized
for any confusion. An apology doesn’t minimize it. Consider all the shoppers who
have been deceived into paying greater than double of their blind belief of the shop’s fame. It’s infuriating.

I later discovered that the shop up to date its worth label. A good friend despatched me this snapshot hours after I left the shop.


Second working example:

Certainly one of Lebanon’s favourite supply apps has been operating a
free-delivery marketing campaign over the previous week. Order your meals from any of their taking part
eateries, and profit from no-fee supply by making use of a sure promo code at

Today, that freebie is substantial. Gas isn’t low-cost, so
you can save at the very least 15,000 LL on the price of supply. We determined to take
up the provide by ordering a pair sandwiches from a preferred
fast-food joint. Once I typed within the promo code, the app appeared to acknowledge
it, however the deduction from the steadiness owed was not posted. Confounding! As this
app doesn’t boast a name middle, I contacted their help by way of in-app chat. Did I sort within the promo code in caps or
lowercase letters
, he prompted me? As soon as we received previous that hurdle, the agent
talked about that there have been quite a few exceptions to the free supply provide. Oh, actually!? A lot of retailers, together with our chosen institution, have been excluded from
this promotion. How handy! Why then was this not communicated within the e mail
and app notifications despatched to app customers? Good level, the agent admitted. He’d
let administration know. Completely ridiculous.

Here is the e-mail promoting the promotional free supply. Discover the asterisk with the “phrases and situations apply,” however nowhere within the physique or footnote of that e mail are they acknowledged. So how is one to know?


Third working example:

Who else has fallen sufferer to some sort of gasoline station
trickery? Each time I pull into the station nearest our dwelling, the attendant
motions for me to park previous the pump quite than straight in entrance of it. On the floor, it
would seem that he desires to accommodate a second automobile if it have been to drag up
proper behind my automobile. But it surely may also imply he doesn’t need me to have the ability to
learn exactly how a lot gasoline my automobile took.

This occurred to me only a few days in the past, and I stored twisting
my neck and squinting my eyes, making an attempt to make out the numbers on the pump after
the attendant had eliminated the nozzle from my automobile. Alas, the glare from nightfall
was simply an excessive amount of for my eyes, and I resorted to asking how a lot I owed. “269,000
LL,” he replied. I handed him my debit card trustingly and waited for him to provide
me the cardboard reader in order that I may key in my pin. That’s after I observed he’d
typed in 296,000 LL as settlement of charges. I instantly set him straight, and
he apologized, handing me the shortfall in money. 

Now it might have been an
sincere to goodness mistake, which I wish to suppose it was. But it surely additionally may
have been a conniving tactic on his half to pocket slightly further change.
It is at all times essential to reconcile the pump studying with what the attendant experiences
again to you!


Who else has been the sufferer of some sort of rip-off in or
round Beirut these days? Remark beneath together with your expertise and whether or not you addressed it on the spot or did not catch on till later.

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