Is the end in sight for misleading supermarket offers? Today the CMA has announced that it has called on supermarkets to review promotional pricing practices.
You may well recall that last April we made a super-complaint to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on issues we have seen for many years – supermarkets using dodgy and misleading pricing tactics.
The CMA has since embarked on a further investigation into pricing tactics, and in a huge win for our campaign, the regulator has announced today that it’s taken Asda to task and secured a formal legal commitment that the supermarket will change its pricing practices.
Asda has been found breaking the rules and now must immediately clean up their act by August.
Dodgy special offers
With your help, we’ve been drawing attention to these misleading pricing tactics used by supermarkets for the last eight years. Asda has come up many times in our investigations, and you also told us about dodgy offers you’ve spotted.
In 2011, Asda started cropping up in our investigations and we exposed such tactics as products being on offer longer than they are at their so-called “real” price, and multi-buys that don’t add up to savings.
For example in our investigation in June 2015 we found Hovis Medium Sliced Soft White Bread (800g) was being sold at £1 (‘was £1.20’) in Asda, even though the price before the offer started was £1, and the product hadn’t been sold at £1.20 for 116 days.
It’s not over yet, the battle continues for our campaign as we still fight to end downright dodgy offers and misleading pricing tactics with other retailers.
This problem is one that extends further than supermarkets. Our super-complaint and actions taken by the authorities should serve as a clear warning to all retailers. If they try to pull the wool over consumers’ eyes they will not get away with it. Retailers must get their house in order.
So have you seen a dodgy deal or misleading pricing tactic in another sector? We know about problems with electrical retailers, furniture stores and holiday/flight pricing – tell us if you’ve spotted any others that are breaking the rules.