Tesco in Price Crackdown After Undercover Investigation Reveals Widespread Short-Changing

9dfe204f-eaa2-43f9-bc1c-78fa1256d225articleimage.jpg

14 Feb 2017 --- A secret shopper-style investigation by the BBC has unveiled shoppers are being overcharged by out-of-date offers, some of which have been wrongly displayed on the shelves for days, if not weeks. 

An undercover reporter for the BBC’s Inside Out visited 50 stores around the country over three months. In 33 supermarkets, multi-buy promotions that were marked down on the shelves had actually expired and the discounts were not applied at the tills. 

The BBC investigation started after a member of staff noticed discrepancies in receipts. According to the BBC, some of the multi-buy deals on display were days and in some cases, weeks old. 

The BBC has reported some examples of how its reporter was overcharged. They include Rustlers Chicken Sub: Offer price - Two for £3 (original price £2.31 each) Price paid at till - £4.62; Schwartz Barbecue Sauce Mix: Offer price - Two for £1 (original price 85p each) Price paid at till - £1.70; Old El Paso Guacamole: Offer price - Two for £2.50 (original price £2.09 each) Price paid at till - £4.18.

In every case where the discrepancy was brought to the attention of Tesco staff, they honored the offer. 

The BBC reports one of the worst examples was at a Birmingham Tesco Express store where staff failed to remove labels showing produce at a discount when the promotion had expired. The reporter had pointed this out to staff but one month later the labels were still showing produce on offer.

The short-changing story has caused a stir since it was aired on the Inside Out program last night (February 13) with some claiming the Tesco mistake could amount to breaching The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.  

The retail giant has now pledged to review pricing at 3,500 stores up and down the UK as shoppers start to question just how widespread the short-changing has been. 

In a statement sent to FoodIngredientsFirst, a Tesco spokesperson says: “We are extremely disappointed with these findings and would like to apologise unreservedly to our customers for these errors. It’s really important to us that we offer clear and accurate price labels for all our customers, and we have since conducted a comprehensive and detailed review of our processes in store, including double-checking every price label to make sure they’re correct.”

“Where pricing errors have been brought to our attention we have honored the lower price and refunded customers.”

“Actions taken following Inside Out investigation include; We are double-checking the accuracy of the price labels in all our stores; We have asked all colleagues to re-focus on ensuring price label routines are always followed and a Duty Manager will now attend all price labelling complaints to make sure we act immediately.”

by Gaynor Selby

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Food Ingredients News

Kerry buys plant-based protein company Ojah BV

18 Apr 2018 --- Kerry Group has purchased Dutch plant-based protein manufacturer Ojah BV for €20 million (US$24.6 million). The European Commission approved the acquisition earlier this week.

Nutrition & Health News

Strawberry fields forever: SVZ on local ties, sustainability and countering food waste

17 Apr 2018 --- “Mindful” consumption, a key trend this year, is bringing aspects such as sustainability and traceability further into the spotlight. Consumers are becoming more demanding of not only the health side of their foods, but also their provenance. Within this space, Dutch fruit and vegetable processing company SVZ is seeking to leverage its ties to local farmers and experience in promoting sustainability to stay at the forefront of the industry. FoodIngredientsFirst visited the company’s processing plant and a number of affiliated farmers in Almonte, Spain, and caught up with Sustainability Manager Jobien Laurijssen.

Packaging & Technology News

Sainsbury’s to introduce touch-free meat packaging

16 Apr 2018 --- UK supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s, has announced plans to sell raw meat in touch-free packaging to meet the growing demand of the millennial consumer. The straight-to-pan plastic pouches – commonly known as “doypacks” within the industry – allow customers to cook raw meats without directly touching the product.

Food Ingredients News

Nestlé rolls out KitKat Ruby in Europe

10 Apr 2018 --- Nestlé is unveiling KitKat Ruby to chocolate lovers in Europe after a successful debut in Japan and Korea earlier this year. In January, Nestlé's KitKat became the world’s first brand to adopt Barry Callebaut Ruby chocolate innovation – the fourth category of chocolate after milk, dark and white.

Business News

Cargill posts earnings drop off, performance gains for cocoa, chocolate and edible oils

09 Apr 2018 --- Global commodities trader Cargill has reported the key financial results for the fiscal 2018 third quarter and first nine months ended Feb. 28, 2018. Adjusted operating earnings were US$559 million, a 22 percent decrease from last year’s US$715 million. Nine-month earnings totaled US$2.4 billion, down 7 percent from US$2.58 billion a year ago.

More Articles