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Mods, please move to Anecdotals if you think this is in the wrong place.

I was in Asda recently, and noticed that a shampoo that had been for sale at £3 a bottle the week before (not on special offer) was now £4.49 a bottle or three for a tenner. I thought the supermarkets had agreed to stop this deceptive pricing? Also, in Co-op today, I bought cereal bars on a two for £3 offer (£2.89 each), some yoghurts on a similar deal, and a pack of biros for 99p (not an offer). I watched as they were rung up on the till; none of the special offers was registered, and the biros were charged at £1.99. It was only when I queried it that the cashier noticed the pricing errors, and she just said 'It's always like this when they change the special offers', refunded me the difference, plus, for some reason, gave me the biros for free. Thing is, it's not the first time this sort of thing has happened, but there's one thing that's consistent whenever it does happen -the price is always too high, it's never an error the other way. I'm not normally one for conspiricies, but this does seem very odd. Has anyone else noticed the same sort of thing?

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Mods, please move to Anecdotals if you think this is in the wrong place.

I was in Asda recently, and noticed that a shampoo that had been for sale at £3 a bottle the week before (not on special offer) was now £4.49 a bottle or three for a tenner. I thought the supermarkets had agreed to stop this deceptive pricing? Also, in Co-op today, I bought cereal bars on a two for £3 offer (£2.89 each), some yoghurts on a similar deal, and a pack of biros for 99p (not an offer). I watched as they were rung up on the till; none of the special offers was registered, and the biros were charged at £1.99. It was only when I queried it that the cashier noticed the pricing errors, and she just said 'It's always like this when they change the special offers', refunded me the difference, plus, for some reason, gave me the biros for free. Thing is, it's not the first time this sort of thing has happened, but there's one thing that's consistent whenever it does happen -the price is always too high, it's never an error the other way. I'm not normally one for conspiricies, but this does seem very odd. Has anyone else noticed the same sort of thing?

Probably more a case of the minimum wage P/T shop floor slaves can't keep pace with head office "buggering about" with prices and alleged offers.

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They do it because the vast majority of people:

Mathematically illiterate
Don't know the law
Don't care

All it takes is a few switched on folk taking the markets to task in court and you'd see this kind of deception mitigated.

However, there's not enough scrappy AND smart folk with lots time on their hands that wouldn't rather be enjoying their own lives.

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Mods, please move to Anecdotals if you think this is in the wrong place.

I was in Asda recently, and noticed that a shampoo that had been for sale at £3 a bottle the week before (not on special offer) was now £4.49 a bottle or three for a tenner. I thought the supermarkets had agreed to stop this deceptive pricing? Also, in Co-op today, I bought cereal bars on a two for £3 offer (£2.89 each), some yoghurts on a similar deal, and a pack of biros for 99p (not an offer). I watched as they were rung up on the till; none of the special offers was registered, and the biros were charged at £1.99. It was only when I queried it that the cashier noticed the pricing errors, and she just said 'It's always like this when they change the special offers', refunded me the difference, plus, for some reason, gave me the biros for free. Thing is, it's not the first time this sort of thing has happened, but there's one thing that's consistent whenever it does happen -the price is always too high, it's never an error the other way. I'm not normally one for conspiricies, but this does seem very odd. Has anyone else noticed the same sort of thing?

I've got a little file of photos of similar things but can't upload them. Sainsburys are the worst culprits. A good one was a label proclaiming "£2.50 each - 2 for £5!"

They also have a knack of not including certain flavour or size variations in multibuy offers but putting them on the shelves anyway. Unbelievably cynical.

That's why I don't shop there.

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Making a fuss

You’re at the supermarket. You get to the checkout, and pay. You look at your bill and find you’ve been overcharged, by some trivial amount. Do you let it pass, or stand on a point of principle?

Related questions: do you take advantage of regular offers, such as buy several of something and get a discount? Do you buy some items purely on price, because you don’t see the difference between different brands? If you answered yes to either of those, you need to stand on principle when the discrepency at the checkout wipes out your saving.

Today it was beer. I only occasionally buy beer to drink at home, but when I do, I usually go for a four bottles for a fiver offer. That gives me mix-and-match from a good selection of premium ales. But they must be the $1.49 bottles: don’t get caught out by similar beers at other prices, whether higher or indeed lower. I carefully selected four bottles at £1.49: three that I know and like, and one unknown.

Checking my till receipt, there was no reduction for the offer. Checking more carefully, one of the bottles was shown as £1.59, invalidating the whole thing. So I’ve overpaid by a trivial £1.06. But more critically, there goes my offer, and my whole incentive to buy participating brands. Bah, Humbug.

Being something of an obstreperous fool (and seeing no queue there), I marched up to customer services and complained. The lady accompanied me to the beer shelf with my receipt, and we verified that the beer in question was indeed marked at £1.49. As was everything else on the same shelf for some way around, including one of the other bottles I’d picked up. The lady spent some time determining that the labelling was indeed wrong, and agreed to refund me the difference. But no sign of relabelling it so as not to catch out other shoppers: she removed the wrong label, leaving it surrounded by other £1.49 labels.

I think this is actually happening quite a lot. The only part of the bill I’d notice it on are those where I’ve taken advantage of a multibuy or similar offer, or bought purely on price, and that’s by no means unusual (last time it was tinned tomatos, which I’d selected on price). Trivial amounts, but they add up, and if lots of shoppers do the same, it could materially affect the producers of competing products.

What happens when someone from Trading Standards gets the same? Or are they off-duty when shopping, and can’t be arsed to do or say anything?

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I've got a little file of photos of similar things but can't upload them. Sainsburys are the worst culprits. A good one was a label proclaiming "£2.50 each - 2 for £5!"

They also have a knack of not including certain flavour or size variations in multibuy offers but putting them on the shelves anyway. Unbelievably cynical.

That's why I don't shop there.

Agree. They are also 'clever' because they place the non-offered products in amongst the ones you actually want on offer, and poorly advertise what it is that is on offer. This happens at every Stainberry store I've been to. Whether this is a secretive and corrupt marketing strategy, or just plain incompetence across their retail storefront is up for debate of course.

You get to the checkout and find that 1/3 of the products you have doesn't qualify, so you pay the full whack because you're not ar$ed to go back and change it.

Lidl's and Aldi's do well because what you see is what you get.

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Sometimes you win ...

A couple of months ago, Waitrose with a 3 for 2 offer on (excellent) £3 sandwiches, selling them off at the end of the day for 99p each.

Computer then deducts £3 from the purchase price of £2.97 for 3 sandwiches.

Result!

Waitrose actually paying me 3p to take three sandwiches off their hands! :)

Edited by The Spaniard
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I'm a special offer / loss leader whore. I'll visit all the major supermarkets and bulk-buy their special offers and loss leaders. It requires a certain amount of work and concentration, because as mentioned on this thread, they'll try and trick you into invalidating the offer. I hate Tesco and only go there to bulk buy the special offers and get enough points on my "loyalty" card to pay for my annual Euro-tunnel crossing to France. I love the fact that they probably make a loss on me AND pay for my holiday. As an "unloyal" shopper, they also send me load of vouchers and offer free delivery as a reward for my disloyalty.

Effectively, other less ******** and/or richer shoppers are subsidising my shopping, which I'm all in favour of! It's just finding somewhere to store everything that is the problem, and making sure it's all eaten before the use-by date.

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Agree. They are also 'clever' because they place the non-offered products in amongst the ones you actually want on offer, and poorly advertise what it is that is on offer.

Morrisons do this quite a lot. I have to assume it's deliberate or the staff are all idiots.

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i think it was Morrisons who have offers like "buy 2 x 2pint of milk for £3" but the 4 pint bottle of the same milk is £2.97.

but its easy no with Smartphone to quickly check prices aross shops and offers. you just need a barcode scaning app, that links to something like google shopper. you scan the product's barcode, and it then show's you the price across the web. quite handy a times.

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They also have a knack of not including certain flavour or size variations in multibuy offers but putting them on the shelves anyway. Unbelievably cynical.

That's why I don't shop there.

Tinned pulses.

I've got trapped twice by Sainsburys like that. Even after being super careful to decipher the clues and riddles that hinted at the conditions for the fabled multi-buy.

The first time I accepted defeat from a worthy adversary. The second time I complained, lots.

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Supermarkets are amongst the most micro managed, psychologically researched environments on Earth. You can be 100% sure that if confusing pricing and misleading labelling was losing them money they'd do something about it.

People who are giving them the benefit of the doubt are being more than charitable.

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gave me the biros for free. Thing is, it's not the first time this sort of thing has happened, but there's one thing that's consistent whenever it does happen -the price is always too high, it's never an error the other way. I'm not normally one for conspiricies, but this does seem very odd. Has anyone else noticed the same sort of thing?

Not always...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-13621315

Tesco managed to misprice an offer on beer last night and were selling cases for about 30p a bottle. One or two may have passed our door as the end of exams were celebrated last night.

Tesco may like to now come and deal with the clean-up operation and supply some hangover cures as well for the afflicted.

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I noticed Sainz doing something weird a few months back with "milk in a bag" which was allegedly cheaper. They would even sell you a cheapish container to pour the milk into and keep in the fridge. However it was apparently the four pint bottle was even cheaper (and potentially less messy). Weird.

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Marks and Spencer are bad for misleading discounts. My wife has complained on numerous occasions. They used to be very efficient, but it is probably now down to the calibre of staff recruitment and training.

However, they are not alone as this thread shows. We always check our receipt before leaving various stores, because on the occasions we didn't, there was usually an error, always in their favour.

By way of international contrast, we found shopping in France was particularly bad for this, and they couldn't care less. When you returned to the shop a few days later the pricing was still uncorrected. We got some satisfaction in the smaller supermarkets where the teller would have to leave the till and sort the mistake, no matter how long the queue.

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I noticed Sainz doing something weird a few months back with "milk in a bag" which was allegedly cheaper. They would even sell you a cheapish container to pour the milk into and keep in the fridge. However it was apparently the four pint bottle was even cheaper (and potentially less messy). Weird.

tbh I'd imagine most of these dodges and wheezes don't add very much to supermarket profits. I suspect head office management are just messing with their customers heads for s**t and giggles. It helps keep them sharp.

Edited by Nuggets Mahoney
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I view it almost as a sport. You have to be very savvy, mathematically literate, carry a calculator and be prepared to use it in public.

Yes I am that sad. But I'm sure it's true that if you load up on BOGOFFS and genuine offers when they are available, it's one of the best investments you can make. It's not like you are getting on interest on it as cash is it?

I know the government and various busybody organisations want all this stopped (citing e.g. the obesity epidemic), but I don't. I don't see why I should be penalised because most of the population are either too thick ,or can't be arsed, to work it out whether they are being ripped off or not.

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I've got a little file of photos of similar things but can't upload them. Sainsburys are the worst culprits. A good one was a label proclaiming "£2.50 each - 2 for £5!"

I had a great one from tescos, don't know I put the photo.

Jacque Cider, £2.50 or 2 for £6

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Years ago there used to be some supervisory body keeping a check on the retail sector and the supermarkets looking out for the scams and pointing them out and in the worst cases taking them to court but that seems to have been dropped. Light touch?

They used to be especially active in the sales and the papers often covered accounts of dodgy sales activity but apparently no longer - seemingly they're just allowed to get away with it unless shoppers themselves catch them out.

Edited by billybong
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Years ago there used to be some supervisory body keeping a check on the retail sector and the supermarkets looking out for the scams and pointing them out and in the worst cases taking them to court but that seems to have been dropped. Light touch?

They used to be especially active in the sales and the papers often covered accounts of dodgy sales activity but apparently no longer - seemingly they're just allowed to get away with it unless shoppers themselves catch them out.

....just because supermarkets say or display something doesn't mean what they say adds up or what they say is what you pay.......people have to do their own checks, because like many things nowadays we can no longer trust what we hear or see......guilty until proven innocent. ;)

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Working out which nappy offer is the best value is a bit like winning a prize on 3-2-1 - the variety of pack sizes and different offers makes you think they deliberately go out of their way to make it too complicated for a busy parent to work out! The assistant in my local Morrisons always tells parents the cheapest offer if she's in the aisle sorting anything out.

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  • 415 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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