Readers Write: All Charged Up
It's that time of year again – when houses turn over at a speed that is unparalleled in any other universe. Lending wings to the incredible success of every Eishes Chayil is the luxury of purchasing baked goods at local bakeries at a higher rate than the rest of the year. As such, many, who don't normally shop in bakeries, find themselves in unchartered territory at a time of year when the aisles are clogged with shoppers who are there with the same purpose in mind.
To add to the inevitable chaos is the fact that whereas the rest of food retailers seem to be required by law to mark their shelves, bakeries seem to be in a class all their own, and nothing has a price, not the rugelach, not the cookies and definitely not the challah or bukelach.
For those with a limited budget who aren't necessarily aware that sourdough challah costs three times as much as regular, this seems rather unfair. For those who simply would like to know where their hard-earned dollars are going, it seems equally unfair that it isn't until you actually have picked out the baked goods in what appears to be a tense game of Russian roulette and gone to pay with your heart in your mouth that you even get some semblance of what the price is, and even then – there's no breakdown per pound or per item in bakeries just one lump sum total leaving you even more clueless at the end.
And if you don't like the price or want to question why your bill is so high, so you can maybe take something off that tipped the scales, you look behind you at the line stretching down the aisle, and you are far too mortified to do anything more than pay and slink off mumbling "lekovod Shabbos kodesh" because that is your only solace for what you've just paid.
How am I supposed to know if I was overcharged? Undercharged? Double charged?
How is this allowed to go on in today's day and age when there is no excuse not to make everything clear as day to every shopper in any situation so that none of us feel like a fish out of water gasping over the price we are directed at the end of the register receipt which says nothing except a total of the CC charge? Why cant they write a break-down of all what i purchased with their price tags?
Pesach is expensive enough without adding this to our already stressed pocketbooks as well.