Supermarkets Back New Price Promotion Rules
Eight supermarkets have agreed to make sure that special offers and price promotions on food and drink are fair.
It follows an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) into the way prices are displayed and promoted in stores.
Concerns have been raised about prices being temporarily inflated to make later discounts look more attractive.
Major UK supermarkets have now agreed to follow a set of principles drawn up by the OFT.
Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer, Aldi, the Co-op and Lidl have all signed up.
Asda says it is reviewing the proposed code.
The principles cover claims such as "Was £3, Now £2" or "Half Price", which must now only be offered for the same or less time than the product was initially sold at the higher price.
The supermarkets have also agreed not to artificially inflate prices to make a later "discount" look more attractive.
Pre-printed claims on packs, such as "Bigger Pack, Better Value", must be true - and there should not be a cheaper way of buying the same volume of the product elsewhere in the same store, even if there is a promotion on smaller packs of the same item.
The OFT did not find that the supermarkets had breached the law or were engaging in misleading promotional practices but did find "what appeared to be inconsistency in the way the law was being interpreted and applied", it said.
OFT chief executive Clive Maxwell said: "Household budgets across the country are under pressure and shoppers should be able to trust that special offers and promotions really are bargains.
"Prices and promotions need to be fair and meaningful so shoppers can make the right decisions."
what do you think?
Well, that's a step in the right direction. But how long until supermarkets find another loophole in the law and are ripping us off again?
Windows Live User
Would a fair offer read "we boosted the price to £3.00 for 10 weeks and never sold one, so now we drop it back to £2.00 to see if you want some? At £2.00 our margin is 150% so is this an open offer?
My pet hate are those shelf labels that give the discount in big figures . Only when you read the label properly do you find it's a discount and the real price in smaller figures underneath. I wonder how many people in a hurry grab the item off the shelf and only find afterwards that it cost more than they thought.
Best way not to get taken in is read the signs carefully and don't buy
Exactly diane.the other day i saw a promotion for packs of bacon" buy one get two free and there was no lable on it, so i asked at the till how much it was.turned out to be treble the price of another brand of bacon on the shelf.
Windows Live User
My wife keeps getting offers of up to £5 of a specific purchase. How much is there mark up I have to ask if they can take this amount off in a flash?
WLU, I assume you refer to the ASDA £5 on £40 spend, apart from you actually having to spend £80 in total if you check their price guarantee as well they are still not 10% cheaper even with the extra £5 off your second bill,and of course not all items on your list qualifies
They are con artists at the end of the day.you have to be wise to it.
Shaun. Spot on. We called at Morrisons cafe last week and ordered their 2 meals + drinks for £8.50. The bill came to £11 and when we queried it we were told that the drinks no longer come with the deal. The change was concealed in the small print of the menu. We won't be back
That's what everyone should be doing, Dave, voting with their feet.
Supermarkets have forced out small local traders and now have the market to themselves and abuse their power accordingly. They know the public are finally wise to them and this is an attempt to convince us they have changed their ways. I don't believe they will. Small traders that are left may not be cheaper but at least they give you an honest price and their profits stay local. Support your own community and shop smart.
Even when you read the offers carefully, you will find that you cannot take advantage of it. Found that out THIS MORNING IN MORRISONS. Left their staff to put everything back on the shelf after I walked out in disgust. Dont believe them - try ALDI - way cheaper and no cons.
Why it's not the staffs fault,it's customers like you that make shop assistants angry
Well done, David! Last night in Tesco they had 25% Less Than Listed Price. That really helped the little old ladies! It would have been simpler and clearer to just reduce the price by 25% but they didn't. I believe the reason they didn't is because they have realised that the public now know that their famous Price Drop is nearly always preceded by a price increase.
Diane. Tend to agree. Taking it out on the staff is unfair. Far better ask for the duty manager, he is paid to take the flak and it may just find its way up the line.
I am sure David didn't mean to take it out on the sales assistants. But obviously the supermarket's tactic of trying to con him had made him angry. The supermarket had no doubt reasoned that he would be like the majority of customers when they reach the checkout and just roll over when he realised he had been conned. If we all did as he did then we would not be victims of such dishonesty by supermarkets, power companies, telecoms companies etc etc.
Brian - you read me like a book. Dianne - no use telling duty managers - they don't listen and always toe the 'party line'. Angry staff have far more effect than anyone else.
Trouble is David angry staff will get in trouble if they retaliate,Why get angryYOU should. put goods back and go elsewhere
Diane Totally agree. To shout the odds at staff or indeed anyone who is serving you is unforgivable. These people are unable to respond for fear of their jobs and your actions are an act of cowardice
Right David, Aldi are a whole lot cheaper with no sacrifice on quality. Their check-out staff are fast and efficient without any sacrifice on helpfulness and pleasantness. Pricewise, what you see is what you get.
Aldi is a brush up the xxxx job for staff .understaffed at shops and warehouses .Managers under constant stress(another bill to pick up by the N.H.S).
They're all the same, happy, whoever they are, understaffed and underpaid. It's just that I find Aldi a better shopping experience, not to mention cheaper. And no gimmicks like coffee shops and sub-standard petrol.
Don' trust supermarkets an inch. Dropping your guard because of these so called new rules will cost you money. They are only in business to part you from your money for as little in return as possible. Call me cynical but I always work on the basis of buyer beware.
If some of you don't trust supermarkets the only way you can protest is don't shop there.I don't like the way Tescos take over so I never shop there. Some customers see what they want to see on signs
Tesco have an attitude problem.
DIANE (spelt correctly this time - sorry) - I agree with you and dont shop at stores that try to take me for a fool. That's why my choice of shops is severely limited now. It does make me angry that I cannot trust the majority of retailers out there - you have to read and re-read everything these days just to be sure of what the deal is.
Exactly I work in retail please don't be angry with staff a man swore at my daughter the other day,she works with me believe me we don't get paid enough to have to put up with that
Agreed Christos. I buy that myself when its bogof. The thing is though that item is never selling at 1.80 in the first place.
Yes t.b. too often we're not allowed to know what the ''was'' price was !
Local stores are at least honest with their prices. In a supermarket you may find an apparent bargain but you can be sure you will pay for it on another inflated item.
You just have to shop wise. All the BOGOF offers just contribute to more food waste.
I sort of agree Emma, It depend on the item and the use by date though. If you can afford the money at the time then some offers are good.
They certainly do contribute. The trick is to buy non perishables in this way - but the sods rarely place these items on promotion!
they all match each others prices as if they are doing us a favour ,but this just means they are selling everything at the same highest price that they all make a larger profit on.i thought this was called price fixing and against free competition on prices ? .
Which of course it is.
Asda has a mad way of doing things. Yesterday, for example, a "big pack - better value" of Twix was 2.50. This contained 16 small bars. The 9 packs of bars of the same size were a pound, so you were getting 18 for just 2 quid. They get it wrong with Special K bars, too - a "better value" multipack of 5 is more expensive than buying five individually. Humorously labelled also was a pack of Jammie Dodgers for a pound - or 2 for 50p! Ha ha ha. We couldn't believe they thought anyone would buy one for twice the price of two! I found my bemused husband in the aisle just holding a pack and studying the prices looking so confused! He got two packs.
They also helpfully label some items "£1 - or 2 for £2!" and so on. Ha ha ha!
The OFT did not find that the supermarkets had breached the law or were engaging in misleading promotional practices but did find "what appeared to be inconsistency in the way the law was being interpreted and applied", it said. One born every minute!