This site was formed about one and half years ago with the express goal of making it easier for people to get up to date prices for the most popular products that Zimbabwean products. Like most of our readers we were sick of the run around that Zimbabwean businesses often employ when it comes to price enquiries. Lots of popular businesses including supermarket chains, insurance companies, mobile network operators, internet service providers and medical aid providers seem to take perverse pleasure in making it hard to find out how much their products cost.
Something to hide?
It’s not even clear why this is a common practice to us. It just simply means that customers are not well informed when it comes to making decisions. It also means that some customers end up paying more to Company X while Company Y which charges less could have benefited instead. In the informal sector people often use WhatsApp to market their products. Various groups are replete with marketing messages that do not come with a price. Whenever customers are ask for the prices for various items they are often asked to inbox. We can only assume they are then later fleeced by being asked to pay above market prices. Often customers don’t even know what the market price is.
It’s sad to see large businesses behave this way too. There are some brands who should know better. It’s often easy enough for us to find out what they charge but we shouldn’t have to. Most Zimbabwean business websites include glossy stock photos of creepy smiling people, cheesy sliders showing off their products but lack the most basic information about cost.
Lots of leg work and subterfuge
A lot of the time we have to go undercover and pretend to be shoppers. This is how, for example, we get the latest prices for groceries. We literally walk into dozens of shops with a smartphone and look for each items’s price. It’s a tedious task we have to carry out each day for various services. Including on weekends. We have tried it the easy way for various services and sadly it’s like drawing blood from stone. The contact details of most businesses don’t eve work. Often our calls, emails and WhatsApp messages are ignored. A few businesses do bother to reply but more often than not we end up not getting the simple information we will be looking for.
Part of the reason for this is the way some businesses operate take for example companies such as Nyaradzo and other insurance companies. They employ brokers and often these brokers are unwilling to provide this information as they are paid according to the number of people who they sign up. A moment before this we wrote to Nyaradzo asking for a list of their products and an accompanying price list. That information is probably available internally in some PDF document that can be easily sent out to customers. Instead we hit a brick wall. We were told to get quotes for each of the countries including Zimbabwe. That doesn’t even make sense.
Then there are companies that appear modern and should know better. Fast food outlets like Chicken Hut, Chicken Slice and Mambos are tech power houses that have ridden the social media tiger to national fame. Yet even these surprisingly don’t think it’s advantageous to list how much their products cost. You will have an easier time finding out how much a burger costs in Central Park 12 500 km away than you will of finding this information. Most of their outlets don’t even do deliveries, just the posh ones that like to charge a fortune for the privilege. Seriously no bicycle deliveries in the ghetto. No lessons from how Amazon is making it’s owner a billionaire during Covid.
A distracted government
The consumer doesn’t matter in the eyes of businesses. They are there just to be relieved of their money. The government has been complicit in this regard. There are plenty of regulations out there that are not being enforced. Lots of shops don’t even have a return policy even if their product turns out to be defective. The government is busy dreaming up of new taxes to care and the police are busy to enforcing useless things like kombi bans to bother with things like this.
Another year of secrecy
2020 has been another year of price secrecy. It has been made worse by the fact that due to the pandemic people have had their movements restricted multiple times. This often made it difficult to conduct our surveys and carry out our undercover work. We hope to continue in 2021 with our mission. To make it easier to find how much products costs so customers can make informed decisions. To be better we need your help.
We need your help?
We also hope businesses will do better. Do you know how much the products of these services costs? Do you have their price list? You can help us and others by sending the information to us via:
Email: [email protected]
- Nyaradzo- their current local and international packages and their prices.
- Chicken Hut-their menu and prices
- Mambos-their menu and prices
- Chicken Slice- menu and current prices
- Chicken Inn-menu and prices
- Nandos-menu and prices
- Menu and prices of various other popular outlets you know
- Medical Aid packages and their current prices. Whoever the provider is, just assume we are interested
- Price lists from various hardware sellers. Again just send or forward whatever you have to that number
- Bank Charges-Steward wouldn’t be charging people so much if they knew better
- Any price listed list you may have
Businesses seem to want to hard their prices but with an army of customers out there we can take back the power and help each other. You can also Join the Zimpricecheck market intelligence WhatsApp group by click the link below:
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