Supermarket special offers mislead shoppers
There's been an investigation into thousands of supermarket offers by Which!!! which have revealed "misleading" pricing tactics pretty much everywhere. Shoppers are faced with offers that look like good deals when in fact, they're just being duped.
Which?!?! looked at upward of 700,000 supermarket prices over a period of 12 months and took note of both discounts and multibuy offers. What they found was a series of tactics used by supermarkets to trick consumers into buying products.
First off, they found products which become more expensive than the original price per item when offer as a multibuy (example, Asda doubled the price of a Müller yogurt from 30p to 61p as they went on to multibuy at 10 for £4). There were also examples of prices being increased immediately before being put in an offer, therefore making discounts appear more significant. In one instance, Ocado increased the price of their strawberries from £3.89 to £4.38 for 13 days and then sold them as "was £4.38 now £2.19/£2.29/£2.25."
Which!!!! also noted that some products were not sold at what was claimed to be a "higher" price immediately before going on offer. Asda, again, sold Aquafresh Milk Teeth Toothpaste with a label of "was £1.74, now £1.15" when in fact, the highest price prior to the deal was £1.17.
It's obvious that rules need to be tightened up around offers and Which!!!!!! are urging the government to do just that. Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said: "It's unacceptable that shoppers are confused into thinking they're getting a good deal when that might not be the case. Consumers should not have to worry about whether a special offer is really 'special', so we want the supermarkets to play fair and the government to tighten up pricing guidelines so that people can shop with confidence."