Bolivia: Poor Service by Hipermaxi

Andrés Pucci [es] and Renzo Colanzi [es] have started an online campaign against poor service by the supermarket Hipermaxi in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Colanzi writes that the supermarket has begun the habit of giving out candy instead of coins, of which they claim they are out. He makes the calculation that this has enabled to chain to make more unreported income as a result.


  • Funny, giving candies instead of coins is a source of animosity between Argentine shoppers and Chinese market owners here in Buenos Aires. When a friend of mine was a few cents short to pay for his groceries, he pulled out a few caramelos, which the shop-owner grudgingly accepted.

  • Jeanie

    I live in Santa Cruz, Bolivia and this practice at HiperMaxi really irritates me. We have also tried to pay for something with candies and are, of course, told that cannot be accepted. We have also, at times, stood there and insisted that we receive our exact change.

  • I’m noticing that stores and shopkeepers are much more coin conscious. In the past, when buying something that is Bs. 10.50, for example, I would try to pay them Bs. 20.50 to get back ten, but they would shrug me off and hand back the everyone seems to want to conserve their coins.

    Supposedly, from one person who claims to know what is going on, that they are taking a lot of these 10 and 20 cents coins to Peru, where they are melted down to used somehow, since the metal is worth more than the coin itself.

  • John Oliver

    This system of giving clients candy instead of coins is not only limited to Hipermaxi but also to other supermarket chains here in Santa Cruz. I would really like to no how much the supermarkets gain from this practice. Surely as candy is not legal tender this practice cannot be deemed legal. Why not issue stamps which could be cashed or used against the purchase of other goods.

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.