Carrefour at Sari Street, Jeddah
We had just arrived home after a stressful experience at Carrefour located at Star Avenue Mall in Sari Street, Jeddah. Morning before going to work, I found a ‘flyer’ at our gate announcing that Carrefour is now open with great promotional offers. As it is indeed our schedule for grocery today, in the evening I suggested to my wife to visit Carrefour. Together with our kids we went there.
It is supposedly our normal routine, where we are to purchase our week’s supply of grocery items (and as usual our kids will roam around to locate the toy’s section then insist on buying something that would interest them). My daughter Sophie insisted on buying a Daisy Duck stuff toy, while my son Rinojo settled for a Buzz Lightyear’s minicar.
At the cashier, the stress began. As per our common practice, starting from the cashiers counter, we are always separating our grocery items (e.g. frozen, fish and meat, canned goods, and so on) so as to make it easy for the bagger to place it on plastic bags. But lo and behold, I discovered that the bagger is either not trained or too lazy (or both) to segregate our purchased items.
Still at the cashier (waiting for the other grocery items scanned for their barcodes) I discovered the erroneous bagging when my kids began to ask for their toys. I found Daisy Duck together with the smoked fish, and the toy car with the frozen goods. I found the toothpaste together with fresh food items. I asked the bagger where he placed the eggs, to which he seems not to have any clue (even to the point of telling us there are no eggs). After searching for it, I found it at the bottom of the cart. We also found the bread at the bottom, where other heavier grocery items are on top.
After my wife paid the items, we received half dozen raffle coupons (with SUV as the major prize), to which I filled up with my name and phone number, then dropped on drop box the filled-in coupons.
We are about to move away from the place when a uniformed security staff approached us and (speaking in Arabic) asked for the grocery receipt. While this exercise (of asking the receipt) is a common procedure in my home country (where the security guard will write something to void the receipt), it is however the first time in my 8 years of stay in the Kingdom to be approached and asked of the grocery receipt. Still, thinking it is a new rule with their grocery, I presented the receipt.
Still speaking in Arabic, he is pointing something on the cart, to which I noticed that it was the box containing a 25-meter flat hose that I purchased. The box is quite big and it cannot fit in their grocery bags so it was left exposed. I tried to communicate (in my broken Arabic sentence) that we had already paid it at the cashier and he can verify it on the receipt that we handed over to him. Interestingly the receipt is written in Arabic, thus I cannot readily identify the item myself. He is adamant that I present to him the receipt, and even instructed me to follow him (perhaps to his supervisor).
This time I am really annoyed, I did not bother to follow him, to which I saw him talking two other security staffs (perhaps one of which is his supervisor). Then they approached me again and is still asking for the receipt. At this point, I can guess that perhaps they are thinking the item on the box is an electric appliance or an electronic equipment that would really require a separate receipt. The labels and markings on the box are all in English so they might not be aware what that is.
I decided to approach the cashier to validate my claim that it has already been paid, the security staffs followed me as the cashier then identified the item and showed to them. At that instance, the security staff simply said “mafi mushkila” (no problem), without even offering an apology for the inconvenience they had brought me amidst the humiliation I experienced.
Heading to the exit of the mall, I quipped to my wife that I have no plans of coming back to this place, to which my son innocently asked why I do not wish to go back. I wish I am that innocent and naive.
Hmm, this is my blog today about my unpleasant experience at Carrefour, Sari Street, Jeddah.