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To say this was deceptive of M & S? Big fat strawberries to them!

(38 Posts)
NotJustACigar Tue 18-Mar-14 19:57:27

I was in the Liverpool shop today picking up some fruit to have after tea and selected a pack of strawberries. Went to pay and the cashier rang them up at £5.99! I thought this was ridiculous and said so. He said "well that's the price" so I said "well that wasn't what the label said on the shelf and anyway that's a ridiculous price, it can't be right". He just kept repeating "well that's what they rang up as" so I kept repeating "that just can't be right". I should say at this point that I have a foreign accent and this I believe causes some (though by far not all) cashiers to treat me like I'm an absolute moron. But it pissed me off and I didn't back down.

Finally after several rounds of this the cashier offered to call someone to check. By this time the rest of the people in the queue were muttering to each other and staring daggers at me. Finally a manager came over and asked what the trouble was. The cashier said "these strawberries rang up at £5.99" so the manager said "sounds about right" in a fairly challenging tone.

I responded "that's not what the shelf said" so he sighed and said he would go check. He raced off so I followed him. At the shelf, there were several other packs of strawberries in the same area where I had gotten my pack. They were in packs of 600 grammes labelled Virtue variety from Spain and priced at £2.79. Only difference was that mine were marked £1 off and the label was a different font and slightly different colour. He shoved aside the shelf label for blueberries and there was a label that said "giant pack of strawberries £5.99" and he said "you see, yours were £5.99". I pointed out that the others were the same variety from the same country in the same amount and asked how the ones labelled £1 off could be over twice the price and pointed out that the giant pack weighed exactly the same as the other pack. Manager shrugged and said "the labels different, see?".

I bought the other pack of course for £2.99 and got no apology at all. And yes it annoyed me to the point that I'm now on my fourth paragraph complaining about them! Okay in the scheme of things it doesn't much matter and I do know that I have to check labels and weights carefully as all the supermarkets these days will try to trick people. But with these particular labels I stood absolutely no chance and feel really annoyed about it. Marks and Spencer used to be a premium food brand I think but now they are as shady as the rest and no better. AIBU to be really annoyed about this?

CoolCadbury Wed 19-Mar-14 20:32:42

My local m and s simply food shop have fantastic staff. Always polite and courteous. (Watch now, next time I go in, it'll be a horrible experience.). I really think the store manager sets the tone.

NotJustACigar Wed 19-Mar-14 09:17:43

Agreed, meditrina although beyond expecting basic customer service I expect basic human decency on the part of employees as well. Please don't be ruder to customers than the average person would be to strangers on the street! But the way things were dealt with in whichever shop you went to sounds extremely reasonable.

Lovely, thanks grin.

littledrummergirl Wed 19-Mar-14 07:19:35

Honestpoint of view. Just read comments after my last. you sum it up perfectly. Thanks. smile

LovelyMarchHare Wed 19-Mar-14 06:54:16

I just like 'big fat strawberries to them'!

meditrina Wed 19-Mar-14 06:49:26

It's basic customer serve. I was buying stuff for the school Christmas fete, and snapping some stuff up on a 'but two get one free' that rang up at the tills as three items. I queried, the staff were courteous, immediately found a floor manager, who had the authority to sort it out, who checked and said "yes the offer has expired, but as we haven't changed the display we'll honour the offer".

Good customer service includes avoiding confusing labelling (remember that if it's very misleading, it can be a trading standards issue) or at least noticing it. Or if pointed out, dealing courteously with the customer who raises it; and even if it cannot be overridde in store, to undertake to point it out (chain stores really should have a feedback system).

m&S could have done considerably better on a number of issues here.

NotJustACigar Wed 19-Mar-14 06:34:46

Honestpointofview I take your point. However in this case there was absolutely no way for me to have known which shelf label referred to the packet of strawberries I had originally picked up. Therefore a simple apology would have been nice.

I honestly had not been the least bit ripped but I can't say the same for the cashier or manager. I worked retail years ago and it was very much drummed into us to be polite to the customers. If anyone has been through M and S training in the last few years do they still stress this in their training or do they not bother? I don't go in there very often so don't know whether this kind of treatment is expected there or not.

Moldimgsunbeams my goodness that is bad - a fake half price deal and an outrageous price for a measly 150 grammes of strawbs!

moldingsunbeams Tue 18-Mar-14 22:51:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SuedeEffectPochette Tue 18-Mar-14 22:36:40

YANBU - the thing that annoys me is when they call them British strawberries and basically they have just come from Gibraltar (so really Spanish then!).

honestpointofview Tue 18-Mar-14 22:34:53

Evening Notjust

Well you are right .... and so is Littledrumergirl. Having spent years in retail then yes shops do use pricing tactics which are designed to make you think you are getting a deal when you are not really. So yes you are right in that way. Littledrummer is right however that they are not out to get you by covering up price labels, putting the wrong price label etc. Those things are mistakes, with so many different lines of stick mistakes will happen.

By the way my view is that the pricing tactics are our own fault. We want the BOGOF's, the half price. We all want to think we have a bargain. So despite knowing the tactics and knowing that the item on BOGOF but more expensive than last week we still buy them. If we did not then the supermarkets would not sell them.

TyrannosaurusBex Tue 18-Mar-14 21:53:40

YANBU. M&S have caught me out a number of times with stuff like this. Waitrose are the worst culprits where I live, though. I stand at the till going through my receipt now - about 7 times out of 10 there's a mistake - never in my favour!

NotJustACigar Tue 18-Mar-14 21:52:45

Littledrummergirl I don't mean to be rude but you are not correct, it is deliberate, at least according to Which? news.sky.com/story/21151/supermarkets-using-dodgy-pricing-tactics

BumpyGrindy Tue 18-Mar-14 21:48:33

Oh that's ridiculous! Thanks for the heads up! I rarely shop there and NEVER buy fruit...I've seen apples at stupid prices!

deakymom Tue 18-Mar-14 21:46:14

mistakes may happen but the attitude sucked

littledrummergirl Tue 18-Mar-14 21:38:45

Op. Dont tell me to wake up please. hmm I have spent enough time working in retail to be fully aware of how stores operate.
Someone put a large ticket on the shelf which covered the ticket next to it.
Given that you can have four people changing sometimes 1800 tickets in a day, mistakes happen.
It doesnt mean that they are out to get you.
In this case yabvvu.

maddy68 Tue 18-Mar-14 21:34:38

It's not the law that they have to sell it at a lower price if incorrectly labeled. Price tags are an invitation to treat so not legally binding until the contract has Been made

CoolCadbury Tue 18-Mar-14 21:32:43

YANBU. M and S are terrible for their shelf labelling and I can't help but think its a deliberate policy to try and confuse. I've bought what I thought were deals, only to find out that one item was not in the deal but was rammed next to the deal item so it confused me. It's happened several times.

£7.99 for strawberries? Go to Morrisons love, 99p a small punnet and £3.99 per box. smile

NotJustACigar Tue 18-Mar-14 21:29:32

Hugo it does seem intentional - otherwise we would be equally likely to be charged less than expected and that happens only once in a blue moon ... only time I can remember it happening actually is on a bag from Tescos that was apparently on sale and not labelled as such. But far, far more often it's attempts to overcharge.

And to be clear, I definitely don't blame these practices on the employees but I do think it wouldn't hurt to be polite to customers.

hugoagogo Tue 18-Mar-14 20:50:07

What winds me up in M&S is, the giant sticker on things saying £2 then in tiny print 'off' so you think you are getting some nice cheese (or whatever) for £2 when it turns out it's £3.50, but used to be £5.50.

I'm not silly I do check, but I think it's misleading and it seems intentionally so.

extrasleepneeded Tue 18-Mar-14 20:43:27

Morrison's is terrible for this often have the offer price above one item while the item on offer is often on a different shelf

CrohnicallyChanging Tue 18-Mar-14 20:36:11

pink in circumstances like that, I have been refunded by Tesco as they said something along the lines of 'the offer didn't apply to those items, but we can see why you thought that' and usually take the sign down (to show you and also so no other customers are fooled by it).

(Not trying to be an advert for tesco, honest, it's just it was the only decent sized supermarket within a half hour drive for a long time, so I did many a weekly shop there!)

NotJustACigar Tue 18-Mar-14 20:35:59

Pinktransit,yes, that's exactly it. The way they drag tried to make me feel like a sub-normal burglar for querying them is what really annoyed me, too!

NotJustACigar Tue 18-Mar-14 20:33:38

Oh dear. Funny then how all these "innocent mistakes" are always in favour of the shop and not the consumer, then, isn't it? Of course they try to trick consumers - they want us to spend more. Wake up!

littledrummergirl Tue 18-Mar-14 20:32:11

I do know that I have to check labels and weights carefully as all the supermarkets these days will try to trick people.

They don't try to trick you. Sometimes mistakes happen despite peoples best efforts. Shopworkers are only human and nobodys perfect.

pinktransit Tue 18-Mar-14 20:29:46

I had something very similar a while back in Sainsbury's. The shelf label very clearly said buy one get one free on packs of chicken breasts. So I picked up 2 packs. I was charged for 2, so queried it.
I was technically in the wrong, as it was the 300gram pack, not the 320 gram pack. However - every single pack on the labelled shelves was 320 gram. The 300 gram ones were on another shelf entirely.
I felt that this was deliberately misleading. What really upset me though was the staff attitude. They eventually got someone to check the shelf, dragged me halfway across the store to 'prove' that they were in the right, and generally made me feel as though I was trying it on to get something for nothing.
In fact, it's one of the few things that can still make me feel cross years later sad I get how you feel.

NotJustACigar Tue 18-Mar-14 20:23:27

£2.79 (the £2.99 was a typo). The cashiers attitude was certainly his fault and shady as the rest refers to the deceptive business practices of course.

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