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John Haine22/09/2021 10:35:10
4170 forum posts
242 photos

The interpretation of the conditions is down to the system software not the checkout staff or the store manager. Take it up with trading standards or Which? No point arguing with the checkout assistant.

Nicholas Farr22/09/2021 11:24:41
2987 forum posts
1352 photos

Hi, the checkout assistants do only what it says on their screen these days, it reminds me of an Autumn coat that I got from Matalan three years ago, the rack had a price on it that said "only £11.00" but when I got to the checkout it came up at nearly double the price. I queried this with the young lady who after a little bit of polite discussion said "I don't know what to do" to which I replied "call your supervisor" the supervisor confirmed that the higher price was correct, I said that the price on the rack was the lower one and being there was no other price tags on the coat I said that that is the price I should be paying, she replied that someone must have put the coat back onto the wrong rack, so I said that they did that with the whole rack of a dozen or so of identical coats then. I had to take her to the rack in question and she saw the price of £11.00 which she promptly removed and said the staff had obviously put the wrong price tag on that rack but she couldn't see a rack that that price should have been on, so no one had swapped any price tags over either. I simply said that by law that is the price that I should be charged whether it is correct or not, she replied saying that they don't have to sell it to me at all, I simply said I'll buy it for £11.00 as stated on the rack when I picked it up, or not at all, she relinquished and I got it for £11.00. Sometimes you do have to stand your own ground.

Regards Nick.

Samsaranda22/09/2021 12:11:19
1207 forum posts
5 photos

Nick we had a similar experience in a local garden centre last weekend, we saw some chrysanthemum plants that we wanted, there was a rack with larger plants at one price and a rack with smaller plants at a correspondingly lower price. We chose two plants from the lower priced rack, not because we are tight but they were the size we wanted, get to the checkout and the price came up for the larger plants, well the wife picked up on it straight away and pointed out that they were the smaller plants and the wrong price, the assistant was quite flummoxed, she was obviously only a Saturday girl, anyway after some discussion she deleted them from the till display and used a barcode from a master ledger that is kept behind the till and charged the appropriate price that was displayed at the rack we got the plants from. I must say that a young Saturday girl didn’t stand a chance in a confrontation with my wife, she can be quite outspoken and forceful where money is concerned, I might add that I played no part in the discussion, I just stood aside and left the wife to the negotiating. Dave W

Bill Phinn22/09/2021 13:01:39
572 forum posts
86 photos
Posted by John Haine on 22/09/2021 10:35:10:

The interpretation of the conditions is down to the system software not the checkout staff or the store manager.

It is if you let it.

For those of us not yet ready to acknowledge we're living in the technolatrous dystopia you posit there, the interpretation of conditions of offers is, as it always has been, down to the meaning of the words in which the conditions are articulated. Since software does not understand, properly speaking, human language, it cannot reasonably be appealed to as an authority, whether interim or final, in this case.

Assuming Old Mart has not overlooked crucial parts of the conditions and failed to communicate these to us, the conditions are crystal clear and his position is vindicated. It looks like the shop staff either need some English language training, or, if they have been instructed to be guided by software's very imperfect powers of interpretation, more autonomy to act like thinking beings.

Edited By Bill Phinn on 22/09/2021 13:02:29

Bazyle22/09/2021 13:15:44
6038 forum posts
220 photos

I think Trading Standards require the marked price to be honoured even if wrong I got some welding rods half price that way at Halfords. I often call it out at supermarkets that don't remove the '2 for 1' type labels when they restack. Recently Costco have had a sneaky surcharge on a box of crisps for mixed flavours which is not on the shelf label set for the single flavour box which they do not stock.

I sometimes think I might enjoy a post retirement part time job with Trading Standards but I think there are people who are way more observant and finicky than me.

Michael Horner22/09/2021 16:30:42
219 forum posts
61 photos

Do shops have to honor pricing mistakes?

The shop may agree to honour the lower price, but they are not obliged to. If the mistake is noticed when you go to pay for the item, the seller has the right to refuse to take the wrongly advertised sum and withdraw the product from sale until they have remedied the error.

Pulled this from the tinternet, don't know how true it is. USA may have different laws.


Cheers Michael.

SillyOldDuffer22/09/2021 16:49:51
7550 forum posts
1680 photos
Posted by Bazyle on 22/09/2021 13:15:44:

I think Trading Standards require the marked price to be honoured even if wrong ...

Not my understanding at all, though lots of people believe it. For a contract to be binding there has to be an 'offer' and an 'acceptance' by both purchaser and seller. How would you feel about a legal obligation to honour offer prices if your house was accidentally advertised with a zero missing off the end?

When a customer offers to pay at the till, the store has no obligation to accept. Stores can and do turn away customers away who appear to be underage, drunk, mentally ill, or are not legally entitled to buy the item.

To avoid being accused of conning customers, many UK stores do honour mistaken asking prices. It's voluntary though - they don't want to upset customers! In Old Mart's case I'm sure BrianG is right: it's illegal in the UK to sell alcohol for less than the duty + VAT price.

Mistakes can cause tricky problems. On a Contract Law course years ago we were told about this example. A Scrap Dealer bought a large number of wooden Stirling submachine gun boxes at a Government Surplus auction. At his warehouse he discovered about 20% of the boxes contained brand-new submachine guns. These he offered to sell back to the government at market rate. Ended up in court. The scrappy's position was he'd bought the boxes legally at an auction, the contract was fulfilled, and he was therefore entitled to sell whatever the boxes contained. The Army said the scrappy couldn't own or sell sub-machine guns because he wasn't a licensed Arms Dealer: therefore he should give them back before they threw the book at him. Scrappy pointed out it was illegal for the government to sell the guns to him in the first place. A right mess! Unfortunately I was sent home due to illness and never found out how it ended, but due to a mistake both parties had broken the law expensively.

Ought to explain for the benefit of US friends that possession of just one automatic weapon in the UK is a serious matter. British subjects have no constitutional right to bear arms which makes it much harder for our nutters to organise mass-shootings. And taking a hard line on the private ownership of firearms hasn't undermined democracy.


Harry Wilkes22/09/2021 18:07:27
1174 forum posts
64 photos

Had similar problem but fortunately I had not paid so told them to keep it and walked away smiley


old mart22/09/2021 19:48:10
3345 forum posts
208 photos

What a can of worms I stirred up. I would like to point out to Bazyle that the 38 cans and bottles of beer that I bought represent over one months consumption. If everybody drank the same as me there would be no more arrests for drunk and disorderly ar any need for a drink driving law. I was told by the supervisor that she understood my complaint, but that the store manager was able to put his own interpretation on the voucher and it had happened more than once. I rather wish I had taken advantage of her offer to call the manager, just to take up more than £6 of his valuble time. Circlip knows what I'm on about, looking at his own voucher.

I will be taking my buisiness elswhere. Living in the edge of a town, I can choose the following all within a 3 mile radius: Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys, Lidl, Aldi, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer and CO-OP, so there's plenty of competition.

Peter Greene23/09/2021 01:40:15
287 forum posts
2 photos

I agree the wording is deceptive.

That said, alcohol, cigarettes etc are commonly excluded from special offers simply because so much of the price of those items are taxes (of one persuasion or another). The store just takes the money and passes it straight through.

The store could, of course, allow a percentage of the price to count towards special offers but I'm sure the taxing authority would discourage that. After all, it wouldn't do to let the customer know just how much of the price is burnt up in taxes. Be unsettling for the masses.

Nigel Graham 228/09/2021 10:48:08
1706 forum posts
20 photos

All in all, a good reason not to fall for any of the supermarkets' tricks like "special offers" and "loyalty cards"! I am probably the sort their advertising-departments fear: more literate than them, and often spotting what they have not written behind the slogans.

Alcohol and tobacco prices don't worry me because I buy very few drinks and then very rarely, in any shops; and never buy tobacco.

Even so I do try to be the Emptor who Caveats. (You are right - I am less literate in Latin.) A lot of my food-shopping is anyway ad-hoc, from independents and the smaller franchise chains; and these don't usually use trickery.

Circlip28/09/2021 12:08:52
1353 forum posts

Don't understand why the terms "Not available for ALCOHOL ONLY BASKETS" causes confusion to even MANAGERS?

Wording should be "Voucher will be honoured at OUR total discretion for reasons we dictate that you don't need to know but our word if final!"

 And don't be conned by the "Two for" and "Three for" prices, check the price labels on the front of the shelves for "Price per 100g" Recent purchase from "Uncle Kens" local emporium (and equally applies to other giants) would have been three boxes of minced steak for £10 BUT this week was minced BEEF so I thought nexr week will be steak, so wait. Went round display corner and boxes of minced STEAK was £2.59 per box. Similarly,  £7.40 box of "Lindors" is cheaper piece part price than Three for £10. I DID go to specksavers, also attended Skool the day they did Maffs.

Regards Ian.

Edited By Circlip on 28/09/2021 12:24:18

duncan webster28/09/2021 13:10:04
3508 forum posts
63 photos

Our local supermarket prices bags of onions etc as per kg, but loose items as each, and as there are no scales you can't compare. I think SWMBO would blow a gasket if I took my own weighing apparatus. Also watch out for giant boxes of washing powder being more expensive pro rata than small.

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