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The Consumer

Make sure you get what you pay for

/ 03:21 AM December 07, 2016

When you do your Christmas shopping, check your purchases before leaving the store or mall to make sure you get what you pay for.

Last Sunday, I had to rush to Watsons before closing time to inform the staff that I got the wrong package. It was not an attempt to pull a fast one on a customer. There was a long queue at the counter, and the staff tried to get the line moving by speeding up the packing.

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Merchandise is put in a brown bag and stapled in a way that makes it difficult to see if you got your items. It was not until I got home that I saw I was given the wrong package.

Fortunately, Watsons staff was able to sort things out when I returned the wrong package and claim my actual purchases. Fortunately, too, Robinsons Place Ermita has extended store hours this holiday season, so I was able to make the exchange before closing time.

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To make sure you are getting the right things, watch while the store staff packs your purchases. If you don’t see what they put in your bag, open it before you leave the store or, if the staff will not let you do that, do it before you leave the mall. It will save you the hassle of having to return to the store.

It’s particularly useful this holiday season when everybody is in a rush and you have to make several purchases on one shopping trip.

Incidentally, Robinsons Malls has announced extended store hours this December. Some days its malls will close at 10 or 11 p.m., instead of the usual 9 p.m. Check the schedule for your guidance.

Energy saver

I have friends who brag about not changing their old refrigerators, some of which are at least 10 years old, because they still work “perfectly.” At the same time, they complain about their huge electricity bills.

I usually tell these friends that the money they save from not buying a new refrigerator is eaten up by their monthly energy bills. In fact, they lose more than what they save, since electricity is a monthly expense while a new refrigerator is a one-time purchase good for a number of years.

Recently, Electrolux launched its new generation of inverter refrigerators. The Electrolux Nutriflex inverter refrigerators reduce energy consumption by as much as 37 percent. That is more than a third of what regular refs use.

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A friend, whose skin condition requires that his air-conditioners at home are on almost 24/7, says he does not worry so much about his electricity bills since he invested in inverter models.

Although prices of inverter models are still steep, even if they have gone down considerably, they are still worth considering if you can afford them. But even non-inverter new models are still more energy efficient than old ones.

My air-con automatically “pauses” for about half an hour once the temperature setting is reached.

There is really very little excuse for hanging on to old appliances, when everyone has to do their share to protect the environment and conserve limited resources. Old models use parts that are now considered toxic. They also use up more energy.

By the way, the Electrolux Nutriflex line is designed to help people eat healthier by keeping ingredients fresh longer. Salad greens can stay crisp for as long as seven days. Andrea Pionilla, country marketing manager of Electrolux Philippines, says that because of today’s fast-paced and hectic lifestyles, people cannot go to the market for fresh produce as often as they want. Electrolux tries to answer that need by designing a refrigerator that will keep produce fresh for about a week.

Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail lbolido@inquirer.com.ph

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TAGS: Christmas shopping, Consumer, home and entertaining, Paskong pinoy, Robinsons Place Ermita
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