You could eat Maggie noodles to feel let down and cheated by the multinational Nestle. But all is not lost. I had a fantastic experience in Chennai in the last two days with a small time steel and paint businessman.

I went to Raj Hardware Stores in Chromepet this Monday and bought 14 litres of Asian paint. The clerk charged me Rs 2900 based on the per litre price that he saw in his computer. The staff were very courteous and even asked me to sit – a rarity in Chennai.

I had to visit the same store next day to buy additional paint. Then all hell broke loose. The new clerk was confused when I showed the previous days’ receipt. The price that his computer showed did not match with what he saw in the older bill.

He looked puzzled. He ran to his boss and whispered something. The boss came to his computer and verified the case.

This is what had happened. The previous day’s clerk had quoted a higher rate by mistake. When I had come the next day for the same paint, they discovered the error. And hence rectified the error by returning me the additional charge.

They could have easily kept quiet and I wouldn’t even have known about the issue. But they chose not to hush up and were straight forward.

Finally, the clerk, his boss and another accountant apologized to me for the clerical error.

And that is a lesson for the multi nationals – family run businesses are more ethical than those that flaunt ‘corporate governance’ yet lack everything even remotely connected with governance.

If you live in and around Tambaram, Chromepet areas and are  in need of hardware materials, visit Raj Hardware stores.

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