Which? tackles misleading supermarket offers
Which? has launched a super-complaint against supermarkets that exaggerate discounts.
The consumer group is asking the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate multi-buys and “baffling” offers that can create the illusion of savings that don’t exist.
The group claims that around 40% of groceries (by revenue) in the UK are currently sold on promotion. With £115 billion spent on groceries and toiletries in 2013, consumers could be collectively losing out to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds, even if only a very small proportion of offers are misleading.
Key issues raised with the CMA in the super-complaint include:
Multi-buys – prices increasing when going on multi-buy so that the saving is less than claimed.
Larger pack better value – where the individual item price of the bigger pack is actually more expensive.
Seasonal offers – where the higher price only applied out of season.
The group’s executive director, Richard Lloyd, says: “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.”