Supermarkets accused over misleading pricing
Which?, the UK's Consumers' Association, have accused major supermarkets of misleading consumers over pricing.
They say retailers are confusing consumers with tactics that "exaggerate discounts and manipulate shoppers", and they have referred the issue to the regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), who are now investigating.
Which? say that many retailers are creating the illusion of savings that don’t exist.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said:
"Despite Which? repeatedly exposing misleading and confusing pricing tactics, and calling for voluntary change by the retailers, these dodgy offers remain on numerous supermarket shelves.
Shoppers think they’re getting a bargain but in reality it’s impossible for any consumer to know if they’re genuinely getting a fair deal.
We want an end to misleading pricing tactics and for all retailers to use fair pricing that people can trust."
Some of the issues Which? have raised with the CMA:
prices increase when going on multi-buy so that the saving is less than claimed, non-existent or products are more expensive when they are included in the multi-buy.
Asda increased the price of a Chicago Town Four Cheese Pizza Two-Pack from £1.50 to £2 as it went onto multi-buy at two for £3. It went back to £1.50 as the ‘offer’ ended (2014).
Larger pack better value
where the individual item price of the bigger pack is actually more expensive.
Tesco sold four cans of Green Giant Original Sweetcorn for £2 (was £2.44), but six cans were proportionately more expensive, at £3.56.
That’s despite the fact the larger pack said ‘special value’ (2014).
where the higher price only applied out of season.
A Nestlé Kit Kat Chunky Collection Giant Egg was advertised at £7.49 for just 10 days in January at Ocado, but then sold on offer at £5 for 51 days (2015).
This story has been added to our corporate database. The database powers all our live product guides, giving the score for each company on our rankings tables. Find out more about how we rate companies.