Aarong says price tags were misplaced
The Directorate of National Consumers' Right Protection (DNCRP) has fined lifestyle retail chain Aarong Tk4.5 lakh for discrepancies in the price tags of the same product.
Following on a client's complaint that Aarong was selling a panjabi after nearly doubling its price, DNCRP officials visited the chain’s flagship store on Jashimuddin Avenue at Uttara on Monday, and fined them after finding the allegation to be true.
The directorate also ordered the store to be kept shut for the next 24 hours.
However, the outlet was reopened around 8:30pm after Aarong paid the Tk4.5 lakh fine in cash to the authorities.
DNCRP’s Dhaka divisional office Deputy Director Monjur Mohammad Shahriar, who supervised the drive, said the outlet was selling a panjabi at Tk1,307 on May 31, which a woman had bought for Tk730, including VAT, on May 25.
After seeing the price hike of the same product just five days later, the customer lodged a complaint with the DNCRP.
“Even though the fabric and design of the two panjabis were the same, they [Aarong] charged double. It is a massive case of fraudulence against the consumers,” he said.
Monjur also said that when they asked the Aarong officials present to explain why the price of the same product had doubled in five days, they could not give any satisfactory answer.
After the news broke on social media, netizens bombarded the social enterprise of Brac with harsh criticisms.
Later, responding to queries, Aarong’s Chief Operating Officer Mohammad Ashraful Alam said: “Aarong never increases prices ahead of festivals or special occasions for bigger profit.
“After the mobile court’s drive, we immediately conducted an internal investigation and found that the price tags were misplaced. We regret the inconvenience caused unintentionally and are working with the authorities to resume normal operation as soon as possible.”
He also added: “Our customers are entitled to claim a refund if they find any pricing discrepancy as per the standard store policy.”