Bank robbery in Alsancak?

changeWell not quite as you might expect. All my adult life I’ve lived by the old maxim, “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.” When living in the UK if the checkout person in Sainsbury’s gave me 20p short in my change, I pointed it out to them and along with an apology, received my correct change. This left me with the feeling that the person was either trying to steal money or really shouldn’t be doing a job involving reading a sum of money off the till screen and giving a customer the displayed amount.

I often hear ex-pats complaining that their money is not stretching as far as it used to, especially those on fixed incomes such as a UK pension. They talk about inflation and exchange rates and they even look at ways of getting an extra percent from their savings and yet why do the majority of them not check their change or their receipts?

Last week I decided to try a little test, instead of shrugging when I was short changed I put my hand out and said, “change!” I then wrote down how much I would have lost and was stunned when by the end of the week I discovered it came to 28TL. That is a considerable amount to lose in a week and would pay half the bill in a 50TL for 2 meals and a drink restaurant! How did I do this? Quite simply, not only did I check my change but I also checked the till receipts before leaving the supermarket. You would not believe how many item prices on the bill are not the same as the prices on the shelves and guess what, they are rarely in your favour, and I guarantee you that.

One particular cashier in one of the supermarkets I visited this week wasn’t putting everything through the till, they just gave me a verbal total and only when I ask for a receipt did she then pass the rest through the till, taking them out of my carrier bag! I was surprised when the price was actually correct and couldn’t see why she was doing this until it suddenly dawned on me. She wasn’t ripping me off she was stealing from her employer. But in the end I would pay because lost profit equals higher prices for us.

I went into the bank to pay my electricity bill yesterday and was given 15 kuruş short in my change. When I queried this I was told “no change”. This is a bank, talk about daylight robbery! As far as I can see all these employees, whilst they are not civil servants fiddling the government and therefore the people with their overtime and bonus scams, have their own equivalent scams.

I now keep small change in my purse and if anyone is going to lose it is never going to be me from now on. I hand them the 15 kuruş or whatever, even if it is a few kuruş short and then I walk away. So, always check your change and always ask for your receipt or fatura. This has been going on far too long.

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