Sunday, June 1, 2008

How a Business Creates More Income

The object of today’s angst is SM Hypermart’s foodcourt (Pasig). The first few times that we had lunch there, we found the place refreshing and roomier compared to its counterparts in Megamall and everywhere else. Because of that, we resolved to visit the place from time to time.
During my last visit however, things have gone bad and another visit a month after showed that things have not improved. The first fiasco could have been due to the birth pains associated with the use of new technology. However, with things still being done in exactly the same way a month thereafter, I would call it stupidity and insensitivity to the pains being suffered by customers and worse-- FINANCIAL OPPORTUNISM!

What am I talking about? Here it is.

Before people can go around ordering food in SM Hypermart’s food court,
  1. They have to go to the cashier, deposit money and be given some kind of a prepaid card.
  2. After that, they may start going to the stalls and order their food where their card will be swiped and debited each time they make a purchase.
  3. If they make the mistake of going to the steak booth first, they will be delayed for a long time for the booth will hold on to their cards and swipe it after the steak has been grilled.
  4. When buying softdrinks, their card will not be honored and they will have to paycash.
  5. If by any chance, their initial load runs short of their order, they will have to GO BACK TO THE CASHIER and buy more credits.
  6. After they have gone around the booths, they will have to go back to the cashier, have their cards swiped and get their change.
Here are my observations
  1. Other than the extra three steps (1,5 & 6), there is the annoying step 4.
  2. What the $%^&* is with step 3?
  3. Of course, there is the possibility that the customers’ prepaid card will be lost at any time. There is also the real possibility that out of annoyance, the customers will forget to redeem their change after their meals. In both cases, the customer losses money which will either go to the unscrupulous thief, the lucky finder keeper or voila--- SM itself!!!!
  4. There is also this possibility that customers will find it more convenient to forget about a few pesos in unclaimed change than to line up and redeem it. Again, may we ask where the money will go?--- SM!!!!!
Now, more than a month after I have observed this annoying and inconvenient process, SM is yet to implement improvements.

I wonder, have they collected so much income that they have decided to continue with this process? In accounting, I believe that these extra money is called "extraordinary income". Has this been reported by SM to the BIR? Have they actually paid taxes for this?

This method of making money from unused/unredeemed/lost credits has been perfected by PLDT through its landline cards and followed by SMART and GLOBE. With SM's adaption of this wonderfully nice method, I wonder if they now have brilliant ex Telco employees who introduced them to this. Hmmnn.



durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi JC,

Forrest Gump said " Stupid is as stupid does".

But this is more than stupidity. It is literally a hold-up so that you consume the entire amount in that stupid card and more often than not, even more.

I've been there once and experienced what you said first hand. Frankly, I felt stupid being victimized by this scam.

Now if you keep going back to that place and go through the same process, the stupid system is no longer to blame, as you have outdone the entire inanity.

Sorry, but I could not let that pass.:-)LOL!

Eat in another place JC, for chrissakes! :-) --Durano, done!

nyl said...


dropping by...nice site.

jc said...

Hi Durano,

Yep, twice is too much and I didn't allow myself to be victimized twice.
I went to Savory and had an unsavory dinner. The chicken was good but it took them more than an hours to serve my dinner.

jc said...


Thanks for the visit! Will see you in your site.



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