Shortage of ¢1 Coins Affects Consumers

April 23, 2004

THE common practice by retailers of adjusting the price of products to the nearest multiple of five is costing Costa Ricans an important sum of money each time they go to the grocery store, the daily La Nación reported.

For example, a liter of Dos Pinos brand milk is usually advertised as costing ¢227 ($0.53). However, it really sells for ¢230 ($0.54), since few customers are able to pay the exact amount as a result of the unavailability of ¢1 coins.

The Economy, Industry and Commerce Ministry (MEIC), the institution in charge of protecting the rights of  consumers, says it s aware of consumer complaints about the situation, but admits rounding up or down is permitted under Costa Rican law.

Economy Minister Gi lberto Barrantes recommended consumers shop around and compare price and quality to make the best decision when buying food.

In related news, the price of rice the only product for which the government still sets the prices increased by ¢26 ($0.06) per kilo on Monday.

Two-kilo bags of raw rice will increase from ¢484 ($1.14) to ¢536 ($1.26). One kilo bags of precooked rice will increase from ¢238 ($0.56) to ¢264 ($0.62).

 

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