Tesco Price Check Guarantee Backfires Spectacularly
Recently I wrote to Tesco's Chief Executive to complain about the large number of mis-priced items in my Tesco Metro store. The shelf edge label said one price, but when I took it to the checkout I was charged a different price. This happened more and more frequently, even though at first Tesco denied there was a problem with the accuracy of their prices. When I bought 9 items and 6 were mis-priced that was the end for me.
Eventually (after I emailed a series of receipts and photos) the store manager telephoned me to confess there was a problem, and his staff were conducting a storewide 'price integrity' process. Woo, fancy. So this Tesco Metro is actually going to charge customers the displayed price. That's real integrity for you (and the law actually).
But now Tesco are in trouble with their prices nationally.
Recently Tesco launched the Price Check Guarantee - promising to refund double the difference if their customers could find any of the items in their shopping on sale cheaper in arch rival ASDA. In fact thousands of customers found ASDA cheaper and reclaimed over £100 in vouchers under the terms of the Price Check guarantee.
Now Tesco has responded by introducing a £20 maximum refund cap per shop. Tesco has also removed the section of their website that allowed customers to compare prices with ASDA before making their purchase.
Of course Tesco could have just decided to reduce their prices to match ASDA (as the Price Check Guarantee would suggest) but as an ASDA spokesperson said;
'if you claim to be the cheapest, call me old fashioned, but it helps to really be the cheapest'.
Since Tesco failed their price pledge failed with me I have switched nearly all my shopping to Sainsbury's - who have cleverly rewarded me with a special series of extra coupons when their systems clocked my Nectar card going back through their tills after a period of absence. They've just mailed me some £3 off a £30 shop coupons to, so it seems Tesco's inability to control their prices may be actually costing them customers. They seem too big to care.