ASDA prices are cheapest or they'll refund the difference. Except when they don't.

6 May 2011

picture by route 79 on flickr. Yesterday, probably.

ASDA have been having a jolly old time of it of late, what with Tesco ending up with goo all over their faces in the Double The Difference cottaging scandal*

However, it appears ASDA are not the blemish-free characters they would have us believe. It appears their price check isn't always worth the paper it's printed on.

As reported by the BBC yesterday, ASDA are denying claims for a refund where products are found cheaper at one of the other main four supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons and Waitrose) on the most tenuous of grounds. Examples such as pasta not being allowed as the Sainsbury's packet referred to 'egg' pasta, or tomatoes not stating their size are daft enough, but when tins of kidney beans are rejected, not for being a different size tin, or weight, but for the exact shade of red, the word ridiculous seems more appropriate.

A quick check of ASDA's website reveals a few more examples of products that are clearly not comparable:

> ASDA Bananas by weight vs. Sainsbury’s Bananas by weight – These products aren’t comparable because Sainsbury’s bananas are Fairtrade whereas ASDA’s are not.

> ASDA leaf spinach 1kg vs. Tesco leaf spinach 1kg – These products aren’t comparable because ASDA leaf spinach is chopped whereas Tesco’s is the whole leaf.

> ASDA Lean steak mince 500g vs. Tesco Beef Steak Mince 500g – These products aren’t comparable because the ASDA steak mince is lean (lower fat content) whereas Tesco’s is regular (higher) fat.

> ASDA Little Angels Cotton Soft Baby Wipes (80) vs. Sainsbury’s Little Ones Eco Baby Wipes (72) – These products aren’t comparable because Sainsbury’s wipes are biodegradable whereas ASDA’s are not.

> ASDA Paracetamol Tablets (16) vs. Sainsbury’s Paracetamol Capsules (16) – These products aren’t comparable because ASDA’s are tablets and Sainsbury’s are capsules.

> ASDA Thin & Crispy 10 inch Meat Feast Pizza (341g) vs. Tesco Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza (310g) – These products aren’t comparable because the ASDA pizza has a larger variety of meat on its pizza while the Tesco one just has pepperoni.

But we think BitterWallet readers can do better. What is the most identical product you have had refused under the ASDA price check guarantee? A bag of grapes that were more lime green than olive green? A packet of washing powder with 20% extra free? Streaky bacon with more than the standard number of streaks?

And don't worry if you don't happen to have any supermarket receipts handy- join in with the latest trend. Womblers (verb= wombling) lurk around self service tills in Tesco, Sainsburys etc waiting to rescue forgotten or discarded receipts from slapdash shoppers and give them new life in a Price Check...

* this wording might make the story sound slightly more interesting than it actually is. Depending on whether you like that sort of thing.


  • Darren
    If you spend too much time trying to find all the bargains, you will more than likely waste more money than you save. As you will buy things based on the "deal" rather than actually needing it. Which is the main aim of supermarket deals, to sell more of products that do not sell much. If you already was going to buy the item then great. And to save a few pence, is it really worth the hassle, whenever I go shopping these days, I just buy whatever I want/need, and do not even bother worrying about the price (other than checking if the smaller pack will save me money over the "value pack")
  • PokeHerPete
    @Darren, exactly. People need to put a price on their time, Id rather not turn my shopping spree into to 5 hours to save a couple of quid. However this is right up the street of alot of people on HUKD who sit there and calculate the price per litre of beer and moan if its more than 37p/l. I remember one topic there about Tesco selling CK boxers for a good price and some guy said he spent a couple of hours driving to a 4+ stores to find them, to no avail. Why not just spend a couple of quid extra and don't waste your time (and actually spend more on petrol money). Its amazing how far people will go out of their way to save a few pence, its all good Asda doing this compare your bill online stuff and all, but who the fuck would go through it. What was this blog post about again?
  • yak
    think i have to agree with asda on the ones you've listed…. for the most part, they are different products
  • yoyo
    all the examples you have given are relating to different products. You want to find something like can of coke in asda and a can of coke in tesco. Has to be the same. No point comparing diet coke with coke zero. Those are different. doesnt matter if it does the same thing.
  • stu
    So let me get this straight. According to those examples ASDA wont do price match on products which are different products... SCANDAL!!!!!
  • Ian
    I put in a price check with tesco on a 2litre bottle of Coca Cola, that came back as NA. I also tried to get them to price match a 2kg leg of lamb.... the tesco price checker came back telling me the leg of lamb i bought was 6kg and that asda sold nothing comparable there? Imagine how big that lamb would have been.... Also plenty of people have had Tesco come back and tell them they cannot locate the receipts on their system.... I wonder what the tax man would make of that...... And another also, at least ASDA appear to be giving you a reason why items were not matched where as Tesco just list items they dont want to match as "NA".. and no point taking these up with them, the T&Cs clearly state "8.No correspondence will be entered into and no refunds will be given for products not being matched on Price Check."
  • me
    Those are different products in the asda price check. I would be more annoyed with the tesco price check which one day shows a product as being comparable and the next day showing as not.
  • Rb_
    I'm also with Asda on the vast majority of those. If it isn't an identical product, I don't think it's fair for them to have to shell out the difference.
  • Eric
    I am with Asda. Fair enough if it was for 4 pints of semi skimmed milk. But, it isnt.
  • Stu_
    I agree with all the above - those products aren't comparable except for the Bananas. I mean, by being fair trade, they're still bananas? Not organic, not special and they taste the same and probably come from the same plantation.
  • wombat
    The items listed in the article are different; not allowing a match when the other item is 'superior' (most folks are happy to pay a premium on Fair Trade and 'bio-degradeable' is supposed to be 'good for the planet' for instance) is a bit petty on their behalf, but it's still different.
  • Tom
    this is a shit article, does this website not have an editor?
  • The B.
    I'd agree with ASDA on everything bar the bananas, whilst there is a difference between I'd have expected fair trade bananas to be more expensive pound for pound so ASDA's non fair trade should theoretically be cheaper.
  • FloopPinger
    This is nothing new - electronics chains have been doing it for ages. DSGi have tellies which are to all intents and purposes identical in spec to those at other chains - and vice versa. The only difference being one single digit/letter in the product code - eg a telly might be LG30RDT and LG30RDX at Comet. But since it's not exactly the same model, they don't have to price match.
  • Rob
    I don't see the point of all this argy bargy from the supermarkets. Everyone knows that in order of cheapness to expensiveness it goes roughly: Aldi/Lidl/Netto etc. Asda Tesco Sainsbury Co op Waitrose
  • laurz
    I cant believe that asda are claiming a meat feast pizza is different from a pepperoni pizza. The bastards. Of course its different. If i went to pizza hut and ordered a meat feast and a pepperoni pizza turned up id send it back as its a different product.
  • Chris
    I can't see how a single one of these items should be comparable. If tomatoes are a different size how can you compare them? If you bought a 40" TV from John Lewis would you go back and complain that Currys are selling a 38" TV for a cheaper price?
  • Boris
    Shouldn't they remove the word 'comparable' and just replace it with 'identical'. I could certanly look at two slightly different things and say they were comparable despite minor differences. I think that's why we have lots of different words to meand different things.
  • Wombler
    Just wasted a few minutes reading this drivel, and a bit more letting you all know. But not as much as you have just done if you've read as far as this....suckers!
  • Dick
    @Tom >this is a shit article No, this is a crap article. There is a difference.
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