Deceptive packaging to fool customers

Mahabub Alam

12 June, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Many businessmen are using deceptive packaging techniques to increase the weight of the packets and reduce the actual amount of products, especially the fruits and sweets they put inside the packets.

The packets are purposely made heavier than they should be to deceive the consumers.  

The absence of a law or rule on packaging weights is encouraging the dishonest traders, particularly those who sell sweetmeats and fruits, to continue their deceptive practice.  

Md Shafikul Islam Laskar, director general of Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP), told the daily sun that they sometimes conduct drives against the heavy packets to prevent the use of such deceptive packaging.

He noted that a law or rule in this regard can protect the rights of the consumers.

Arifur Rahman, a banker by profession, bought a kilogram of sweet for Tk 300 from a sweetmeat shop at Badda in the capital recently.

“As the weight of the sweet packet seemed comparatively heavy, I asked a staff of the shop to measure the weight of the sweets without the packet. The weight measure revealed that 100 grams were eaten up by the packet.”

“But finally, I had to come home with 900 grams sweet as the shopkeeper did not agree to fill in the rest 100 grams,” he said.

Mohammad Nazrul Islam, a driver of Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh, said he bought two kg of apple for Tk 320 from a fruit shop at Nilkhet for his family on Sunday.

“After coming home, I weighed the apple sans packet. I found 110 gram less,” he said. 

Like Arif and Nazrul, many consumers are being deceived in the same fashion. Only a few of them notice the matter. 

Razu, a staff of Jamal Box at Kamrangirchar, has said they produce packets as per orders of the shopkeepers. “If the shopkeepers want weighty packets, we produce,” he said.

According to him, the packet of 250 grams sweetmeat weighs 20-25 grams, the packet of 500 grams weighs 35-40 grams while the packet of one kg and two kg sweets weighs 100 grams and 150 grams respectively.

But SM Ishaque Ali, director of the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI), has said that they have nothing to do with such packet fraudulence as they do not work with products like sweets and fruits.

However, DNCRP DG Shafikul Islam Laskar has said although there is no law or rule to check the cheating, the size and weight of any packet must follow some standard specifications.