Clockwise from left: Asa Smith, Naina Nair, Nassef Nabeeh Najeeb and Darryl Espiritu Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: When buying a bottle of juice for Dh4.80 do you ever ask for the exact change back? Gulf News readers seem to find it troubling that money is lost every time they purchase an item.

Naina Nair, a homemaker residing in Sharjah, feels that it is unfair for retailers to not give back the exact change when she purchases an item. She said: "We should be compensated for this as we are paying more than the price on the label."

Nair, an Indian national, estimated that she loses Dh15 every month due to the exact change not being given. The place where she had noticed this occurring the most is in supermarkets.

Nair said: "I shop at the supermarket a lot, as we are a family of four. Every time I buy groceries I end up losing money because of the pricing system."

Nassef Nabeeh Najeeb, an Egyptian national residing in Abu Dhabi, also felt that he loses the most amount of money when shopping for groceries and thinks that retailers should not price their products in decimal points. He said: "I feel that it is money that is wasted as it accumulates over time."

After checking his receipts, Nassef noticed that he loses an average of Dh10 every month.

He said: "It is not a large amount but it is money that is owed to me and I could have used it to buy something with."


Darryl Espiritu, a Filipino technologist, said that the amount of money taken by retailers in terms of change is unfair, as it rightfully belongs to the customer.

He said: "If it is based on one purchase then it will not make a difference to me. However, once it adds up over time then it becomes a large amount."

Credit for future

Espiritu, an Abu Dhabi resident, estimated that he loses Dh12 every month mainly from grocery shopping.

To cut these losses Espiritu suggested a system where regular customers of a shop are credited the change into their account so that it could be used in future purchases.

Although Asa Smith, a Swedish national residing in Al Ain, does not notice the small change at the time of purchase, she admits that it builds up to a large amount of money over time.

Smith, a homemaker, said: "There have been times when shops rejected the 10fils coins I gave them to pay for a product."

Smith also noticed that many supermarkets price products at amounts that customers would usually not be able to give the correct amount for.

She said: "They used to compensate by giving us candy at the cashier but I have not seen that [happening] recently."

Demand change

A Gulf News investigation has revealed at least Dh50 million is lost in transactions every year as many retailers do not tender small change back to customers following purchases.

The Central Bank however mints coins of 1, 5, 10 denominations, giving no excuse for retailers not to tender change. Gulf News urges its readers to demand change.