Guwahatians Irked Over Shopping Malls Charging Extra Money For Carry Bags: G Plus Poll
Are shopping malls charging extra money from consumers for carry bags? Have you faced such a situation?
Total votes: 3.5 K
Shopping malls and established retail chain shops charging extra money for carry bags from customers after purchase of merchandise, has been a topic of debate since the past few months now.
Even though shopping malls and retail outlets continued to charge extra for the carry bag, the issue gained a lot of traction after a consumer filed a complaint at a consumer court in Chandigarh after being charged Rs 3 for a paper bag by Bata India Ltd. The court ordered the company to pay Rs 9,000 as fine to the customer.
Legal experts say that the retailers should not charge money for the carry bag if they have their brand’s logo or advertising on it.
G Plus conducted a poll asking the readers if they have been charged extra money to pay for carry bags at retail stores and shopping malls. A total of 3,500 participants took part in the poll. Out of this, a clear majority of 95 per cent said that they have been charged extra for the carry bag while 5 per cent said that they didn’t have to pay any extra money for the carry bag by retailers.
A majority of the participants were irked by the retail shops asking consumers to cough up extra money for carry bags.
“Actually, we the people of Assam are very much aware about false self-esteem. To raise voice over genuine issues we feel ashamed and mall owners take advantage of our weakness,” said Rupak Choudhury, a Guwahati resident.
Another participant Hrishikesh Baishya mentioned, “Almost all malls are charging for carry bags. Vishal charges Rs 15 for one carry bag made of some nylon type materials. Big Bazaar too charges Rs 10. This should be made free to all customers irrespective of the bill amount.”
A few also argued that if the retailers are advertising their brand then they shouldn’t charge extra.
“If they are advertising their brand by putting their name on the bags, then why should one pay for it?” asked a city resident.
Another respondent mentioned that he once asked a retail outlet about the extra charge and they replied that since the bag did not have any advertisement, it is chargeable.
“If the brand name isn't advertised on the bag it's legal to charge for the bag. That's what they have to say,” said Arshad Basit.
A few people also mentioned that they have even raised this concern with the authorities but to no avail.
“I have asked the mall authorities about it, but they say that they have been advised by the management,” said a Guwahati resident.
On the other hand, a few respondents also advocated for consumers to be mindful of the environmental impact of generating so much excess waste and urged people to carry their own jute or cloth bags while shopping to avoid the hassle.
“Amidst this hue and cry, why don't we stop and ponder for a while? Do we really need more plastic bags to choke our mother earth? What if we could carry our bags from home? The problem will be solved with multiple benefits to our environment and to our pockets,” said Suman Agarwal.
In the same vein, Ruptrishna Borooah mentioned, “The malls should in fact charge more money so that people stop buying or asking for carry bags. This was to make people habituated in carrying their own bags to reduce pollution. Hope people understand that bit.”