Supermarkets misled on discount pricing, says Which?
Published: 24th May 2012 12:08:21
Customers have been misled by supermarkets over discounts and multi-buy offers, according to consumer group Which?.
It analysed more than 700,000 prices and suggested that in some cases "discounts" ran for much longer than the original price.
However, the government has said that it has no plans to alter its "robust" rules on pricing.
It is a criminal offence for traders to give misleading price indications.
"If consumers are misled, traders may face enforcement action from trading standards for breach of the legislation," said a spokesman for the Department for Business.
"The government believes that the existing regulatory framework is robust and has no plans to change it."
The Which? research cited cases including:
Rules state that the non-discount price should be the amount a product was sold at for 28 consecutive days immediately prior to it going on offer, while a product should not ordinarily be on offer for longer than it was at the higher price.
But Which? said the rules included a "get-out clause" allowing for individual circumstances.
"At a time when household budgets are squeezed and food bills are going up, many people are on the look out for a bargain," said Which? executive director Richard Lloyd.
"It is unacceptable that shoppers are confused into thinking they are getting a good deal when that might not be the case."
The supermarkets accepted that made some mistakes among a huge volume of pricing.
"By and large our systems and procedures ensure those instances are kept to an absolute minimum, but when we do get it wrong we put our hands up to say sorry and put things right as quickly as possible," said a spokesman for Asda.
Tesco said: "We are committed to helping our customers keep their costs down. We change millions of price labels in store and online each week and we sometimes make mistakes, for which we apologise.
"We make every effort to ensure we act in accordance with government guidelines on price promotions."
Ocado said: "Ocado has thousands of special offers and is committed to providing clear and accurate information about our offers. Regrettably on this one isolated occasion this specific promotion did not explain our offer in the required detail.
"Measures have now been put in place to ensure this does not happen again and we continue to heavily monitor our processes accordingly."
At 19:48:39 in SportFormer world 100m champion Yohan Blake will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on an injured hamstring.
At 19:45:07 in SportA racehorse owned by the Queen has tested positive for morphine.
At 19:36:17 in SportReport to follow at end of match.
At 19:29:32 in SportFulham manager Felix Magath says he wants to add another two or three players to his squad before the start of the new Championship season.
At 19:22:45 in SportChampions League second qualifying round, second leg
At 19:22:43 in EnglandAn Indian foreign student studying in Bedfordshire has won damages of £3,500 after she was illegally detained at Heathrow Airport for 17 hours.
At 19:15:14 in EnglandA new swimming pool could be built in Shrewsbury under proposals being considered by councillors.
At 19:09:06 in HeadlinesVenezuelan soldiers and officials have begun removing hundreds of families from a half-built 45-storey tower that dominates Caracas,
At 19:07:53 in SportTyson Fury will fight a yet-to-be-decided boxer in hometown Manchester on Saturday, despite the late cancellation of his world title eliminator with Dereck Chisora.
At 18:58:16 in SportCardiff City suffered their first pre-season defeat as they lost 3-0 to Russian Premier League side Amkar Perm.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Supermarkets misled on discount pricing, says Which? [Online] (Updated 24th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1430709/Supermarkets-misled-on-discount-pricing-says-Which [Accessed 22nd Jul 2014]
News In Other Categories
Ever wondered how much your local hospital pays for incontinence pads, medical wipes or surgical gloves?
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
An Indian foreign student studying in Bedfordshire has won damages of £3,500 after she was illegally detained at Heathrow Airport for 17 hours.
A light aircraft has made an emergency landing on a beach at Swansea.
Nationwide is capping all new mortgages at 4.75 times the borrower's income and imposing a tougher affordability test.
The funeral of former BBC Scotland broadcaster John Milne has been held in Dundee.