John Lewis sneakily change their price-matching rules

7 February 2011

Bitterwallet - John Lewis have a very Merry ChristmasJohn Lewis is renowned for its ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ policy but it seems that they cunningly shifted the goal posts a few months ago, making it harder than before for customers to price-match against rival retailers.

A minor tweak in the group’s policy, implemented last September now means that they will only match a cheaper price if the warranty offered by the cheaper retailer is of the same length as their own.

As such, scores of customers have had price-matching claims turned down by John Lewis in the past few months, particularly on electrical goods, as John Lewis’ tend to offer a two-year warranty on such items, compared to one year offered by many other retailers.

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The change was snuck into the company policy in September, when John Lewis received plaudits galore for expanding their price-match promise to include online retailers as well, providing that they also had a physical, high street presence. It seems they were less keen to proudly parp their trumpets about the new, restrictive warranty-related rule at the same time. Hmmm, eh readers?

David Suddock, head of buying support at John Lewis, told The Guardian: “As a result of our commitment to expand our never knowingly undersold policy to include other retailers with online presences we now put a great deal of resources into checking the prices charged by our rivals and lowering ours where appropriate. Our customers are benefiting through significantly reduced prices. They tell us they value the extra warranty periods we offer, and we think it is only fair we should include that in our price match scheme. The terms of the never knowingly undersold policy are clearly presented in both our stores and on the website.”

We know that a lot of you are happy John Lewis customers as they always score highly in our Best Company Of The Year poll. So does this significant policy change alter your opinion of them or do you feel it’s necessary in order for them to survive and continue to offer the level of customer service that you know and love? Tell us, you bunch of fat-faced cocksockets…

14 comments

  • Skippy
    Dont we already get 2+ years from 1999/44/EC and SOGA ..
  • W0nKy H.
    I used to work with a bloke called John Lewis. He was a right cunt.
  • David
    No, SOGA means that if a product becomes faulty: - Within the first six months, the retailer has to prove that it was not faulty when sold, or has to offer a refund/repair/replacement (seller's choice). - Between six months and five (Scotland) or six (England) years, you have to prove that the product was faulty when sold or was not of reasonable quality etc. in order to receive a refund/repair/replacement (seller's choice).
  • Tom P.
    Isn't John Lewis the brother of that prick who runs that moneysaving site?
  • Joff
    Surely the answer would be to just buy from the "cheaper" retailer? People buy from John Lewis because of the reputation of an established retailer compared with these fly-by-night Internet bedroom operations. John Lewis aren't conning customers because at the end of the day, customer's can choose where to shop. With the two years warranty, I would be more likely to shop at John Lewis if the price is only marginally higher than other retailers. I love John Lewis. I want a free John Lewis fridge freezer.
  • Nob
    I bought a TV from them a couple of years back, and got them to price match. They had a 5-year warranty, Richer Sounds had 2 year, but could be extendable to 5 for about £50. I was surprised when JL price matched the lower price and shorter warranty. I can understand why they changed it - they are giving you more with their warranty (if only peace of mind), so why should they price match others that do not offer longer warranties, or at least price match with the extended warranty?
  • Marketing W.
    @ Joff If you like John Lewis fridge-freezers, buy an Electrolux because that's who makes them. They're nothing more than rebadged AEG models, which are also made at Electrolux' plant in Guangdong.
  • Sawyer
    It's perhaps only been official policy since September, but staff have been doing this for years. I've had plenty of price-match requests refused on the grounds that the product "isn't identical" because of the different warranties. Given that I don't know any other physical stores who offer a standard 2/5 year warranty (JR Linton do 2 years for laptops, but they're only online), I don't know why they bother having a policy at all. That all said, I don't mind paying a (small) premium for a decent warranty.
  • qwertyuiop
    "Tell us, you bunch of fat-faced cocksockets…" Ladies and Gentlemen, Andy Dawson!
  • Kent M.
    Hmmm Love JL but to my mind if you claim the warranty is free - you shouldn't then use it as a get out clause for a price match as that suggest that they charge more because of something that is free. Makes the definition of free interesting.
  • Rene
    Only Andy Dawson would get away with the last line in that article. The man is wasted on stuff like this....
  • Philips W.
    The cost of the extra one year guarantee is negligible compared to the amounts they would need to pay up. So they can cleverly avoid having to cough up.
  • Ten B.
    [...] Lewis sneakily change their price-matching [...]
  • John L.
    I think you'll find I told you that months ago! http://bit.ly/an4P5m Don't you read your emails?

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