to think they should have honoured the shelf price.

(38 Posts)
martini84 Thu 25-Jul-13 16:13:11

Out shopping with dc. They each choose a treat. One of them was priced x on the shelf but was rung up at a higher price. About 15% dearer but not a huge amount as less than a pound.
When I questioned it I was basically told tne price was wrong and did I want it or not at a dearer price.
If I had not been with dc I would have and brought nothing onn principal.
Yeet dd would have been upset so I felt oblidged to pay.
Aibu to be annoyed about this. I appreciate there is no obligation to sell to me at all nut surely this is really bad customer service.
It was a chain btw. (Probably franchise.)

MrsGSR Sat 27-Jul-13 15:37:52

It's not law, see the comments below. But most reasonable places would have given a refund, and they certainly shouldn't have been rude about it.

Joanne279 Sat 27-Jul-13 15:09:40

Would have courteous, but I work for a chain. The key is not to question the price and pay for it. Then approach customer services and tell them youve been overchsrged. Once you've paid for it, I believe they are required by law to sell for the advertised price smile

martini84 Sat 27-Jul-13 14:18:43

No not the end of the world. It was just the attitude of the member of staff. No real apology. They had made the mistake after all yet i was made to feel i was in the wrong.We knew because my dd was paying so she could practice her numeracy.

Cabrinha Fri 26-Jul-13 08:25:00

You need this angst for less than a quid?
Does no-one just accept mistakes any more?
If the store deliberately underprice on shelf to get you to buy, hoping you don't notice it's more at the till, then that's totally wrong.
And they should deserve your trust, so they should put systems - both people and IT - in place to ensure as far as they can that prices are right.
But come on - what happened here? Whoever's job it was to check the shelf labels made a mistake.
Yeah, I think that they should have honoured the price as it was their mistake and minor - even though not a legal requirement.
But it's not the end of the world, is it?

greenfolder Fri 26-Jul-13 07:02:15

10p? biscuit

10p? I don't think I'd even notice if I was overcharged by 10p, much less feel bothered enough to post on MN about it.

WidowWadman Fri 26-Jul-13 06:55:16

The law as quoted has - in my view - nothing to do with accidental mislabelling, which is what happened in the OP, but is there to stop deliberate fake "promotions" designed to get lots of customers to your shop without a hope of getting hold of any of the promoted items, in an attempt to make them buy other things while they're there.

MrsGSR Fri 26-Jul-13 00:47:22

There's a good chance I'm being really dense, but looking at the full paragraph of the quoted portion below, I'm not sure it would be relevant in this situation. It states:

Making an invitation to purchase products at a specified price without disclosing the existence of any reasonable grounds the trader may have for believing that he will not be able to offer for supply, or to procure another trader to supply, those products or equivalent products at that price for a period that is, and in quantities that are, reasonable having regard to the product, the scale of advertising of the product and the price offered (bait advertising).

Which sounds to me like it is saying if a product if advertised at a certain price, the shop has to disclose any reason it has to believe that it will not be able to met demand for the product, OR they must offer a similar product at the same price. There's an example given on page 21 that seems to support that.

Personally I think the OP should have been given it at the lower price, I'm just confused about the legalities of it!

frogwatcher42 Thu 25-Jul-13 23:01:05

oops cross posts

frogwatcher42 Thu 25-Jul-13 22:59:07

I thought trading standards laws said that things have to be sold as displayed including pricing.

FredFredGeorge Thu 25-Jul-13 22:56:11

WidowWadman Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

It's not relevant to the contract going on in the shop, it's purely consumer protection law, so you wouldn't've covered it (although I do think if could've been mentioned in it...)

It's obviously an area where if something is unfair is going to end up in a decision by a court, but the act does say

"Making an invitation to purchase products at a specified price without disclosing the existence of any reasonable grounds the trader may have for believing that he will not be able to offer for supply ... at that price "

Is always considered unfair, however I suspect in the simple case of a mis-labelled item on the shelf, the due diligence defence would likely be more than enough. As superbean says it's something trading standards enforce, and obviously only care about big cases where it's worthwhile.

Given it's mumsnet, another thing always considered unfair is:

28. Including in an advertisement a direct exhortation to children to buy advertised products or persuade their parents or other adults to buy advertised products for them.

superbean Thu 25-Jul-13 22:31:59

If the price shown is wrong, it's a misleading price indication. This is a criminal offence and Trading standards can prosecute for this but tend to go after big stores where they "mystery shop" and find lots of Mis-pricing, and prosecutions only happen when the store continually re-offends.

From a contractual point of view, the shop is not obliged to sell at the incorrect price because of the way offer and acceptance works in a shop (see other comments above about invitation to treat).

Unfortunately, most checkout staff will be utterly clueless about the consumer protection act , so if you mention misleading prices at all, it's unlikely to help :/

Any decent store manager would in my opinion have honoured the incorrect price and corrected the pricing straight away.

LittleMissGerardButlerfan Thu 25-Jul-13 22:01:18

It is annoying and in the shop I work in (national chain) we always honour the shelf/ticket price as that is a nice thing to do.

We were in another national chain once and something was marked up a lot cheaper than it was so we complained and they gave us it at the cheaper price grin if not I would have just walked away, it's the principle rather than the amount of money! Easier said than done though when kids really want something!

So YANBU but it sounds like legally they weren't obliged.

Piffpaffpoff Thu 25-Jul-13 21:55:10

I learned about 'invitation to treat' in the '80s. It is one of the few bits of my insurance exams that I remember!

WidowWadman Thu 25-Jul-13 21:45:55

fredfred - what offence are they committing? I've just done a module on contract law and can't recall anything like that?

TiredFeet Thu 25-Jul-13 21:19:12

completely legal, for the reasons others have already explained.

but pretty bad customer service I think, so yanbu to be annoyed!

FredFredGeorge Thu 25-Jul-13 20:11:18

If a shop charges you a higher amount to the price they advertised on the shelf then they may well be committing an offence, which means they will normally honour the advertised price to avoid that. They are indeed under no obligation to accept your offer (or to serve you at all, although there are other risks against doing that if you could demonstrate their reasons were in some way discriminatory) but if they mislead you in their pricing then they are committing an offence.

Just saying the total for all the goods is not sufficient a get out for that just as it wouldn't be if the customer had hidden some other goods in the basket.

HappyGoLuckyGirl Thu 25-Jul-13 19:21:46

The way it works is the store advertises something for sale. You pick up said item, take it to the til and offer to pay £x for the item. The store is under no obligation to accept your offer (regardless of the price they advertised) and can counter offer with an adjusted price. It's up to you if you choose to accept their counter offer and enter into a contract.

But no, YANBU as it's just plain annoying.

Choc From what I remember they wouldn't have to give a refund.

Cashiers have to say the amount the customer owes, then if the customer pays they've agreed to it and are obliged to pay it.

Then add in that a change of mind is not enough for a retailer to have to refund.

IME most places would refund, just for the sake of keeping customers happy. But they don't have to.

MrsGSR Thu 25-Jul-13 19:10:29

I might be wrong, but this is how it was explained to me.
The price tag isn't the start of the contract, when you take it to the till your saying you want to buy it, the cashier telling you the price is the start of the contract and you paying is you agreeing to the conditions.

On those terms you would be entitled to return the item, not realising the price would equate to not reading the t&cs on a normal contact. But most shops will refund the difference in good will.

MarmaladeTwatkins Thu 25-Jul-13 19:07:23

" So custom lost for the sake of 10p!"

Really?! You're still stewing over this?

Time for a wine/tea/whatever.

ChocHobNob Thu 25-Jul-13 19:04:26

Out of interest what would have happened if the OP had paid for it and then noticed she was charged more than the advertised price. Would they have to give her the difference back or could they have just offered her a refund if she had refused to pay the higher amount?

I once threatened to leave a entire trolley full of shopping at the checkout (after it had been scanned through) after being told that an offer had expired. in my defence, it was the day that the store opened (so why was there an out of date offer advertised in the first place), the cashier told me that I was the 4th person to be told on her till that the offer had expired (so why hadn't it been removed) and the only reason I did my shopping there was to get this offer in the first place. Result, I didn't only get the offer - I got the item for nothing grin

It's not bad service to do what they are legally entitled to do. It would have been good customer service if they had, obviously, but it's not bad customer service to do something they are allowed to do.

FredFredGeorge Thu 25-Jul-13 18:54:24

The main invitation to treat case law was actually much later than the 20's I thought and was to do with Boots (because certain things had to be sold under supervision of a pharmacist) Sometime in the 50's I thought.

However while there is no requirement to honour a price, there are laws against misleading pricing - e.g. Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 - which may apply, trading standards would be the people to talk to, in something that is so obviously targeted at children (where the ease of reversing the purchase decision when you get the "right" price is more difficult) it's possibly they'd care more.

However if it's an obvious mistake - a Nintendo DS for 5p - then it won't go anywhere.

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