Supermarkets Told To Stop Misleading Discounts And Offers

28 August 2019, 15:03

Supermarkets are still offering dodgy deals despite government intervention
Supermarkets are still offering dodgy deals despite government intervention. Picture: PA

An investigation by Which? has found that supermarkets are still offering customers misleading special offers.

Some supermarkets are still ignoring government pricing guidelines designed to prevent deceitful retail conduct.

Consumer group Which? looked at 459 so-called offers and found numerous "dubious" discounts, special offers that were in place nearly all year round and multi-buy deals that were more expensive than buying items separately the week before.

Which? looked at pricing data from May 2018 to June 2019 for some of the UK's biggest supermarkets.

Asda rejected claims that they were misleading customers
Asda rejected claims that they were misleading customers. Picture: PA

Among the highlighted "discounts" was a deal for a one-litre tub of Wall's Carte D'Or Strawberry Ice Cream at Asda, which read "was £3.50 now £2".

However it was found that the supermarket sold the product at the lower price for almost two-thirds of the year.

Iceland were also offering a "dodgy" deal by offering shoppers two packs of Kellogg's Crunchy Nut cereal at £4, when just the previous week consumers could have bought an individual pack for £1.49.

Morrisons ran a promotion for Cathedral City Mature Cheddar Cheese (350g) that also read "was £3.50 now £2" for the week of 17 September 2018 when the product was already the lower price of £2 the week before.

Morrisons were also found to be offering "dodgy" deals
Morrisons were also found to be offering "dodgy" deals. Picture: PA

The Government rolled out new guidance in 2015 to ensure retailers adhered to proper practices, following a similar investigation by Which?.

Those rules say retailers must ensure the information they present to consumers is fair and does not waste time or cause annoyance, disappointment or regret.

However in their latest investigation Which? revealed that many supermarkets continue to disregard these rules and the group had warned customers to be weary of the "dodgy" deals.

Natalie Hitchins, head of home products and services at the consumer group, said: "These retailers must stop tricking shoppers with deceptive deals... if not, the CMA (Consumer and Markets Authority) must intervene to ensure that pricing guidelines are followed."

Iceland said they would review their promotional calendar
Iceland said they would review their promotional calendar. Picture: PA

Iceland responded by saying it would review its promotions following the findings, however Asda said its offers were not misleading.

Other supermarkets would not respond for comments.

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