So I’ve heard this a few times actually from expats, so I feel it’s important enough to blog about it.

Stores in Panama will put food items back that have been returned or placed on a different shelf in the store.

This is very dangerous for fresh or frozen items. Who knows how long the food wasn’t at the proper temperature & could have already spoiled. Then again, this is inline with the fact that Panamanians either know nothing about food safety or don’t care. I’ve had food poisoning here in Panama quite a few times even with fresh produce & one time a taxi driver got food poisoning from a fonda only minutes after eating.

They also put back items people return that are defective.

I once bought a blowup bed from Saks & it wouldn’t blow up. When I tried to return it, they gave me a hard time. At that point (it’s very big & I didn’t try to blow it up someone else did) I noticed that the underside of it was defective. That’s when I realized they had sold me a product that they knew didn’t work. I guess these stores figure eventually a person will just throw it out & not return it.

They eventually did give me my money back, but like almost all things in Panama, they didn’t want to & I wasted lots of money returning the item (taxi both ways, the the translator at the time, standing & waiting for a manager to approve the return when I could have been doing something else, etc.).

It’s just one more example of how Panamanians try to get away with unethical business practices & they do get away with it, because Panamanians hardly ever complain since their motto is, “Nothing will ever change, it’s too much of a hassle & obviously it costs a lot to return products or complain.”

While Acadeco takes complaints from consumers about problems with companies, even they can’t always get companies to care about their customers.

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