S. Ramesh

Extra price charged for cooling soft drinks

ERODE: The soaring mercury is driving more and more people go for thirst-quenching liquids packed in attractive bottles. But people have to shell ‘extra charge' to get them chilled.

A majority of the shops and restaurants in the town collect Rs. 2 to Rs. 4 in addition to the maximum retail price (MRP) for serving the soft drinks and packaged drinking water bottles chilled.

The extra amount is collected in the name of ‘cooling charges'.

“Though it is clearly mentioned on the labels that the soft drink should be served chilled, the shopkeepers demand Rs. 2 to Rs. 4 in addition to the MRP.

Most of consumers pay this extra price without questioning. If we question, the shopkeepers refuse to sell the soft drinks,” S. Kathirvel, an investment advisor here, said.

The District Consumer Protection Department had already received widespread complaints regarding the sale of soft drinks at a rate higher than the MRP.

“The issue is known to almost all the senior officials. But no action has been taken up so far,” people point out.

The inaction from the officials has only encouraged the shopkeepers to continue exploiting the consumers, a senior citizen points out.

“The Erode town has a number of consumer organisations. But many of these organisations are yet to take up any efforts to fight against such unfair trade practices. Majority of them conduct rallies or awareness programmes only during the Consumer Rights Day and a few other occasions just to show their existence,” angry citizens say.

Collector R. Sudalaikannan said that drive against unfair trade practices would be organised at frequent intervals.