The Argos sale - the sale where prices go <em>up</em>?
We warned you earlier in the week about how prices of goods can be manipulated in sales. Halfords provided the example of a price comparison that stated a sale saving was better than half price, when in fact the immediate saving was far less; Halfords hadn't compared the sale price to the price immediately before the sale, but to a higher price several weeks previous.
It's a practise allowed by law, but one that could still confuse many people. Here's another example from the Argos website, as pointed out by Bitterwallet readers Robert and fwiw; a Samsung digital camera - was £79.99, now £68.29; you save over £11 in the sale!
But before you strip bollock naked and party in a sex way, you notice the sale price has an asterisk next to it, so you read the small print and discover the camera has been retailing for £10 less than the current sale price. According to Robert, "the price has actually increased by £10 in the last few days, whilst it was in the clearance section":
As long the higher price occurred within the last six months and lasted 28 consecutive days, then everything's above aboard as far as Trading Standards and Consumer Direct are concerned. That said, there's a sentence near the beginning of the DTI's Code of Practice for Traders on Price Indications which muddies the water:
There don't seem to be any caveats attached to the sentence, so it reads as if the sale price should be compared to the price immediately before the sale. We asked both Trading Standards and Consumer Direct about this particular sentence earlier in the week; they didn't seem to be aware of it, and instead repeated the six months / 28 day law. We may have misread it or there may be a newer code of practise available which we can't find one - have a read of the code here and see what you think.