Tesco's Deceptive Fruit and Veg Pledge... ~ Tesco-Complaint

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Tesco's Deceptive Fruit and Veg Pledge...

Mark Mcgivern of The Daily Record reports that for Tesco, EVERY LITTLE CHEAT HELPS: SUPERMARKET giants Tesco have been accused of a half price fiddle. Trading Standards officers found they put big hikes on the price of fruit - then slashed them by 50 per cent days later.

Tesco, who take in £1 in every £8 spent in British shops, use TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh to advertise their "Fruit & Veg Pledge". They promised to halve the price of five types of fruit and veg every week of this year.

But research showed that four of the products featured in the first week of the promotion in January suddenly rose in price at the end of December. For example, Gala apples cost £1.19 a kilo on December 11.

They went up to £1.99 on December 18, but were reduced to 99p on January 1 for the promotion. A 500g punnet of peaches cost £1.99 on December 11, before reaching £2.99 on December 28. On New Year's Day, the price was reduced by half to £1.48. Nectarines and plums followed a similar pattern.

Mart in Fisher, of the Trading Standards Institute, said the supermarket were "grossly exploiting" loopholes that allow them to cut prices on goods which quickly go rotten.

The Department Of Trade and Industry states that shops can only advertise a discount on a product if it has been priced at a higher rate for the past 28 days.

But with fruit and veg, the discount has to relate only to the last advertised price.

Researchers also found other evidence of unusual pricing.

A pack of three courgettes were halved to 99p - at the same time the price of loose courgettes rose by 35p a kilo. Celery hearts halved in price, but celery sticks simultaneously rose by 51 per cent.

A Tesco spokesman blamed seasonal fluctuations. He added: "Any suggestion we ramp up prices in order to cut them again is the purest nonsense."

Labour MP Jim Dowd, of the all-party small shops group, said: "It amounts to the deception of customers."


Anonymous said...

So shall we suggest we never have anything offered to us cheaper in our lives to keep us happy!

Al said...

If the products in question returned to the lower prices after the promotion ended (i.e. the early December prices) then fair enough. Otherwise this is just stupid and frankly a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

Yes al, these items where on promotion before this new deal started, the promotion stopped, then this new one started.

Al said...

I'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing, let me clarify just in case we're not:

Gala apples go up from £1.19 to £1.99 in December. They were reduced to 99p for the promotion. Once the promotion ended:

1. They returned to £1.99 - no problem and no cause for complaint (apart from the price rise, but that's a fact of life).

2. They returned to £1.19 - this is a problem since it suggests Tesco raised the price so they would only really be reducing the apples by 20p in the promotion.