In the shops now! - Somerfield's flip-flopping chicken surprise
I have a love / hate relationship with my local Somerfield. I love that they're a convenient five minutes walk away, that I can pop in and pick anything up I missed in the week's big shop. I hate that once a month, without fail, they over-charge me. The Caramel bar that's 5p more than the shelf label states, or the special offer on Corona that leaves me £2 out of pocket; it's rare to buy even a small number of items without discovering a mistake.
But one offer in particular has caught my eye; that is to say, it caught my eye several months ago and it's still there today. As far as I'm aware, Somerfield have been selling chicken breasts at half price for months and months. As it turns out, the truth is even more contrived; while I'm always paying half price for the product, I've noticed Somerfield repeatedly switches the way it promotes it. This is how the product was displayed at the beginning of February:
And this is how Somerfield are advertising the same product now:
This product spends its life in a permanent chicken limbo, never enjoying life at full price. Consumer law states a product advertised as half price must have been available at the full price for 28 days within a six month period. It could be that when the product was advertised at half price, the comparison was made against prices at other Somerfield stores - in which case the specific detail should be clearly visible to the customer. If it occurred at this branch, I didn't notice it. Perhaps I was off chicken that month. If it ever was sold at full price, it'd be the most expensive chicken in town. Perhaps because the weight of the product varies each time the offer changes, Somerfield can argue the two products are different from one another.
The result a confusing fudge of an offer that has been available at my local Somerfield for months, and this is ultimately why Bitterwallet rallies against special offer labelling when we do. This sort of labelling can confuse a customer into believing they're benfiting from an offer that is in fact available on a near-permanent basis. Instead of bamboozling consumers with inpenetrable deals that don't stack up, why not just sell the bloody chicken breasts at £3.50?