Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |  Volume 6, Issue 22, Tuesday, May 31, 2011





Do you frequently feel that most of the time you end up spending more than what you get in return? You're not the only one. Whilst inflation haunts the city in the backdrop, many businesses and individuals alike have mastered the fine art of robbing you. And there are various sorts of rip-offs. Surely, you've experienced at least one of them -- or several -- in your lifetime.

Ripped by association
It hurts more if a "friend" rips you! There are people in our lives who insist on getting the most out of "friendship". They'll never pay when eating out. "There ain't no such thing as free lunch" - this age-old saying, at least literally, doesn't work for them! Every hang out is a treat for them. They'll show you all sorts of excuses and will always end up not paying a single penny ever! Shrewd. And kind of shameless.

Ripped by force
Indeed, sometimes we have no option but to get ripped. The classic case is when you are forced to pay a much higher fare to the CNG driver. Although this was bogged down by a drive from the government to curb CNG drivers asking unreasonable fares instead of charging to go by the metre, they've started ripping us off once again.

The interesting thing is that they are shameless about it. During rush hour, when a handful of separate, potential 'applicants' surround the three-wheeler taxi for a ride, an auction is likely to begin! While whether the money they earn by charging proper fares is enough or not needs a thought, this doesn't mean they'll go charging any insane amount they fancy! Oh CNG drivers, the mighty kings of the road!

Ripped by choice
It's not always the fault of the other party, though. Sometimes we deliberately put ourselves in places we're destined to get ripped.

"I paid Tk5000 for a pair of shoes last week. I felt guilty, but I hope they last long!" says a victim. We go to those exclusive fashion houses, and enjoy getting ripped. We go to a fancy restaurant and pay a higher price for a simple glass of cola without blinking. But it's also true that you pay for the service, the brand itself and the ambience. But worst of all is eating those snacks and drinks you find in the mini-fridge in the hotel room. They have astonishingly high mark-ups. But we are oblivious. After all, how can you sleep at night knowing that just in front of you lies the very source of your pleasure? Irresistible!

Ripped by impulse
True, controlling oneself is not easy. Buying stuff -- spending all that hard earned money -- strangely makes you feel elated; it helps against gloom. For a shop, a depressed customer may just be the ultimate "cash cow"! For example, after I flunked an exam big time and was stuck in traffic on my way home, one of those hawkers selling books approached me. Those fresh books and the leisure they promised were too much. "How much?" I asked, pointing at one of the books. "Tk. 300", the guy replied. The signal turned green and I was all confused. I ended up buying the novel for 280 bucks, which, had I bought from Nilkhet, would not have cost me more than 100.

Ripped by defeat
I didn't get the chance to bargain. Bluntly, I lost the bargain for whatever reason. There are people who can't haggle. A college student says, "I went to Nilkhet to buy some books. After much wondering and page flipping in the worn out shop, I asked the price.

“The answer almost made me throw the books at the guy's face. But then he showed me the original price imprinted on the back cover, and explained that he's charging me far less as I'm a 'special customer'.

“He didn't mention, of course, that those books were second-hand. But I'm not good at haggling -- don't have the patience or the heart for it. I ended up getting totally ripped!"

Bargaining is often looked down upon in many stores. Bargaining is "banned". You choose the things you need to buy, under the big signboard or paper that says, "Fixed Price". You can't even haggle! In his famous book, The Art of War, San Tzu said, "Every battle is won before it is ever fought". Well, some retailers do take his words seriously.

In many countries, there are institutions you can go to and file a complaint if you get ripped. In our country, consumer watchdogs still have a long way to go. Till then, God save us!

By M H Haider


Fiber's start its journey

On 27 May, 2011 Fiber's kicked off its journey at Plaza AR, Dhanmondi. Azizul Hakim, renowned actor, was the chief guest and formally inaugurated the boutique. Mahtab Uddin Ahmed Chowdhury, owner of the boutique was also present at the ceremony. It is the first outlet of Further More Enterprise, a well-known outfit designer and production company, in Bangladesh. Its aim is to deliver dresses according to customers' requirement.

"I started this boutique to provide local customers international standard attires at affordable prices. Developed fabrics and innovative designs are the main attraction of the dresses. European style gets emphasised in all the cuts but it is suitable for the environment and climate of our country" said Chowdhury.

"Our target is to please our clientele with the quality of our local production. This is our first outlet and so we are in need of a cordial response from the clients' side to inspire us to go forward," he added.

Currently attires for three seasons -- Summer, Spring and Winter -- are available at the store. You can also choose some wonderful knitwear from this boutique.

By Farizaa Sabreen

Kay Kraft

Kay Kraft organises this year's Summer Fest 2011 from May 24 till the end of summer. The boutique has decorated their showrooms with new lines suitable for the season. The collection is based on handloom cotton, bexi addi voile and endi. The colours used are pink, sky blue, white, lime, peach and light purple. Green, being the colour of nature, has an obvious predominance. The designs featured on the attires are primarily floral motifs although elements from sheaf of paddy are also incorporated.

Persona Adams' offers

Persona Adams, a men's salon launched its fourth outlet at Banani 11. It offers `free facial with a haircut' for its registered members throughout the months of May and June. Beside the regular services such as skin care, hair care and personal care, the newest outlet will provide Spa services and groom package.

Internationally famed magician Jewel Aich inaugurated the event while a host of top celebrities from different sections of society including Sharmin Lucky, Salauddin Lablu, Ferdous and others were also in attendance. Noted baul Shahjahan Munsi played some notes with his ektara at the event.

House # 76/A (top floor), Road # 11, Banani #8812698-99

Celebration of World Fair Trade Day

As a Fair Trade practitioner, Tarango celebrated World Fair Trade Day 2011 by organising a discussion between Tarango and their fair-trade producers, who are producing Fair-trade products and along the way supporting Bangladeshi women to improve their socio-economic conditions. The event was held on 25 May, 2011 at the Residence of the Australian High Commissioner, Dhaka.

The World Fair Trade Day is a worldwide celebration supported by the business and consumer community, by policy makers and media as well as by thousands of social movements, NGOs, millions of Fair Trade small producers, artisans, farmers and small-hold manufacturers and more than 100,000 volunteers.

The theme of this year is "Trade for people -- Fair Trade your world”. The theme encompasses the strong belief in the need to put people and the environment at the heart of trade and consumption, Trade for People means trade for sustainable development of local communities.

DesignDhaka turns 3!

DesignDhaka, the renowned fashion house, celebrated its third anniversary amidst the presence of celebrities, businessmen and journalists. Wearing blue denim and striped t-shirt, popular model Shabnaz Sadia Emi made her appearance along with models Hira and Ruhi. The whole show was choreographed by Faisal Tusher.

Feluda comes to Shopnobaj

Feluda -- Satyajit Ray's immortal fictional character -- comes to life at Shopnobaj this season. Designed by Joy Shahrier, t-shirts of the renowned boutique will feature designs based on the sketches made by Ray himself, along with a bibliography of all his titles. The price ranges from Tk190-250. For details contact -- Shopnobaj, 77 Aziz Super market, Third floor, Dhaka - 1000. #01921043355.

New shoe shop in Sylhet

A new Jennys Shoe shop was inaugurated on 15 May at Subid Bazar, Sylhet. Managing Director of Jennys International Limited, M A Quader formally inaugurated the store. AGM Mosharraf Hossen, Sales Manager Nabonur Islam Khan and joint partner of the store Shahid Ahmed Chowdhury Shaju were also present among employees of Jennys International during the opening of the store.

Nazrul Anniversary at Naksha

On the occasion of rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam's 112th birth anniversary, boutique Naksha at Narayanganj arranges their collection with imprinted t-shirts, panjabis, fatuas and shirts featuring poems and lyrics by Nazrul. All these printed attires are made from soft cotton. #01970793984


Boutique Baluchor brings eye-catching designs in girl's tops, made from cotton fabrics, embellished with karchupi, hand block and handwork. T-shirts, polo shirts, formal and casual shirts, fatuas, panjabis are available at all outlets of Baluchor. #01716556271

Excel's summer collection

Boutique Excel presents their summer collection on cotton fabrics. Also available are men's lines -- polo shirts, shirts, t-shirts, fatuas, panjabis, dhotis are also available from the boutique. # 01717467669


On 7 May, the second outlet of Karkhana was inaugurated at Aziz Super Market by entrepreneur and owner of Nitya Upahar, Bahar Rahman. The store houses men's wear -- casual and formal. #01711159863

Formal wear at Richman

With an eye to offer out of the ordinary fashion statements, Richman comes forth with its wide range of formal designs for men. To ensure comfort in hot and humid climate these attires are made from 100 per cent cotton. There is also a 30 to 60 per cent discount on all attires at their Basundhara Shopping Mall outlet. #01717338320



As The Daily Star has moved to its new premises, we request all our event invitations, press releases and other forms of correspondence be sent to Raffat Binte Rashid, Editor, Star Lifestyle (7th Floor), 64-65 Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue, Dhaka 1215. Email: lifestyleds@yahoo.com or raffat@thedailystar.net


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