Looking at the unit price of two different-sized items is helpful to work out which is cheapest, but it’s not so useful if those prices are wrong. That’s what has happened for a number of products on Tesco’s website.
We checked the price per kilo, per 100g or per 100ml on 127 products on the Tesco website – looking at types of foods where errors have been spotted in the past. We found a quarter were wrong. In some of those cases, trying to buy the ‘cheaper’ product according to the unit prices displayed would have led to you actually buying a more expensive item.
In some cases, products were listed as cheaper than they actually were. A 150g punnet of Tesco Finest Raspberries costing £3 was priced at £15/kg, but the actual cost was £20/kg. A 125g punnet of Tesco Organic Raspberries for £2.50 was displayed as costing £16.67/kg, instead of the correct price of £20/kg.
Strawberries were a baffling case – of two 400g punnets, the cheaper one was listed as having a higher unit price. 400g of Tesco British Strawberries costs £2, so is clearly pricier than 400g of Tesco Everyday Value Strawberries costing £1.75, but the former was listed at £5.72/kg and the latter at £5.84/kg. The correct unit prices were £5/kg and £4.38/kg, respectively.
We also found incorrect unit prices on cereals, mayonnaise and tinned fish.
Tesco must fix errors
We asked Tesco why there were so many errors, and how it calculated the unit prices on its website. It said:
‘We’re urgently addressing these technical issues and would like to reassure customers that no one would have been charged more than the item price for any product they’ve bought on tesco.com.’
Though supermarkets have committed to making unit pricing clearer, there’s no excuse for unit prices being completely wrong. We’ll be checking back to make sure that Tesco corrects these errors – and will take further action on this issue if they don’t.
Have you noticed incorrect unit prices on Tesco’s, or any other shop’s, website?