No let up in 'dodgy' supermarket offers

20 May 2015

Supermarket shoppers are still being misled by "dodgy" special offers and pricing tactics, according to consumer group Which?.

It has revealed examples of pricing practices it believes are potentially flouting government guidelines, including continuing offers where products are on offer longer than they were sold at the higher price, giving the impression the customer is getting a discount when in fact the offer price is a more accurate reflection of the value of the product.

Multibuy mischief

For example, Which? found Pepsi Max (2 litres) was sold at £1.98 in Morrisons for 28 days but then went on a £1 'was £1.98' offer for 63 days, while Garnier's Ambre Solaire Clear Protect Spray (200ml) was sold at £14.99 in Superdrug for 63 days, then £7.49 or £7.48 for 167 days.

It also highlighted misleading multibuy offers that don't save customers money, and in some cases end up costing them more. Which? found that Asda increased the price of Robinsons Orange Fruit Squash (1 litre) from £1 to as much as £1.59 while running a "2 for £2.50" offer, creating the illusion of a saving but actually costing customers 50p more.

The consumer group used its legal powers to make a 'super-complaint' to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) about supermarket pricing that dupes customers into thinking they are getting a better deal than they actually are.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: "Retailers are continuing to pull the wool over shoppers' eyes with dodgy discounts that just don't stack up. Our super-complaint has the backing of tens of thousands of concerned shoppers and is calling on the regulator to take action to put an end to misleading pricing practices."

Which?'s 'Put an End to Misleading Pricing' campaign has so far received more than 60,000 signatures in support to get supermarkets to stop underhand sales techniques.

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