Shop under spotlight over lost personal effects

A man who left his personal belongings with a supermarket’s security desk upon entering – and returned to find his personal effects missing –is at loggerheads with the store management over their refusal to compensate him.

Ernest Schwenke claimed that he left his bag at the security desk of the Farmer’s Supermarket at the S.N.P.F. Plaza when he entered the shop last Saturday.

And when he wanted to claim his bag on his way out of the shop, he found that his personal effects in the bag were missing.

His lost property comprised a Samsung Galaxy S8 worth NZ$450, a Hugo Boss cologne worth NZ$70 and a personal ring worth NZ$100.

Mr. Schwenke is demanding that he is compensated at $1,000 for the total loss of his personal effects.

“What I need right now is compensation and I gave them at least an amount of $1,000 to compensate for the things I’ve lost but they won’t give me a single cent,” he said. “I went to the Police to lodge my complaint but they encouraged me not to do anything because (they said) it’s not worth it.

“I went to the big boss as well of the supermarket but that’s not how it works. My bag was in their hands at that time and they should be blamed for the stolen and lost properties.”

The refusal by the shop management to pay compensation led to the frustrated customer seeking the services of a lawyer. 

The lawyer, Tauiliili Faualo Schuster of the Schuster Laws Samoa wrote to the shop’s general manager in a letter dated 22 December 2020, warning that failure by the business to recompense for the losses suffered by their client, would leave them no choice but to pursue the matter in Court.

“Your shop are responsible and liable to our client for the loss of these items, we demand on behalf of our client that in settlement of this matter, you compensate our client in the amount of $1250 Samoan tala for the loss of his personal items,” the letter from the lawyer reads.

“If you pay this amount to our client within the next seven days he will accept it as full settlement.

“Should you refuse to settle this matter as noted above then our instructions are to take this matter to court as our client has suffered inconvenience, mental and emotional stress caused by the negligence of your shop security employees.”

The Samoa Observer has a copy of the correspondence addressed to the firm’s General Manager.

Attempts by this newspaper to get a comment from the management of the Farmer’s Supermarket were unsuccessful. 

A lot of retail outlets in Samoa have an entry policy that stipulates locals leave their bags at the security counter prior to entering the shop.

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