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A Super Complaint for the Supermarkets

Last week consumer champions Which? announced they are lodging a ‘super complaint’ to the Competitions and Marketing Authority (CMA) regarding confusing supermarket prices. A super complaint is made on behalf of consumers to help highlight and end practices which are deemed unfair or damaging in the long run. But what does that mean for you, the shopper?

With the help of mySupermarket Which? has identified a number of dodgy deals and unfair pricing tactics to encourage shoppers to spend more. Which?’s super complaint highlights 3 pricing practices we’re all too familiar with:

  • Confusing or misleading pricing
  • Lack of comparable prices and products
  • Reductions in pack sizes which aren’t reflected in price

These are tactics mySupermarket has noticed and can help you tackle. We’ve already helped shoppers spot these tricks and save £12 million in 2014.

The Which? super complaint mentions misleading and confusing prices, shrinking products and improper promotions specifically, so here are mySupermarket’s advice on taking on the most common supermarket tricks.

Misleading or confusing prices:

Double check the item in your basket is the same item on the sign. Products and promotional signs can easily be misplaced leading to you paying extra .

Check your receipts and keep a watchful eye out at the checkout. If you’re not sure, don’t be afraid to ask if “that offer went through”.

Compare prices in store instantly with our app (available on the app store and Google Play). We’ll be able to let you know if you’re getting the best value or if it is worth switching items, or even stores!

Shrinking products

Sadly, as manufacturers battle their own rising bills, we’re seeing our favourite treats getting smaller. Comparing PPU is a shopper’s best chance at spotting a smaller pack with a larger price. You can do this online before you shop or in store with your phone’s calculator. Simply divide the price by the pack size to discover and compare the price per unit.

Price per unit equation

We make this even easier on mySupermarket, showing you the PPU to help you compare products easily.

heinz image

We’ll even show you the PPU before and after an offer is applied too, so you can find the best value whatever form it comes in!

heinz offer iamge

It might also be time to swap and save on items. Try different brands or something new and you may make a saving and discover a new family favourite!

Promotions

Take advantage of offers, don’t let it be the other way round! Think about if you really need another pack or if it will just end up in the bin. It can also be useful to ask yourself if you would be buying that item if it wasn’t on promotion. Chances are you will put it back on the shelf, cutting unnecessary spending.

Which? Discovered that some items are on promotion 40% of the time, or actually get more expensive during promotion periods. Keep an eye on the cost of your essentials and you’ll soon be able to see if you’re any better off with the offer price.

Top tip: you can check a product’s average price history on mySupermarket before you shop or using our app at the store itself. This will let you know if you’re overpaying and help you see if you are better off buying at another time.

Average price graph

We support Which?’s campaign and believe supermarkets should increase transparency in pricing. We also encourage shoppers to compare their shop before and during a shop as this can lead to huge savings!

Have you seen any dodgy deals lately? Let us know!

2 Comments

  1. Sandy O'Neill says:

    YOU are my HERO! While at the supermarket i watch people making choices – which may or not be in their best interests – because the Stores owners do NOT make things easy to get the very best deal. Shame on them – And a BIG thank you to you for drawing attention to this rip off situation.

  2. vincent neale says:

    I hope Aldi and Lidl are also included as they are part of the price scam Date: Mon, 27 Apr 2015 15:07:05 +0000 To: allotmentman@outlook.com

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