Be Vigilant of Deceptive Sales Tricks

13/04/2017 16:30

13th April, 2017

Be Vigilant of Deceptive Sales Tricks

This long weekend consumers must check the price of items placed by the supermarkets on the pretext of “Specials”.

The call comes in light of grievances raised by concerned consumers recently regarding a renowned supermarket selling the Jason’s 20g Bongo, Peanut Ruffs and Peanut Ruffs Spicy for $0.35 each (shelf price) while on the label marked “specials” 3x 20g packets would cost $1.10.

When added, the cost of purchasing 3x 20g packets separately would amount to $1.05 while on “specials” it would amount to $1.10.

Hence, the customers end up paying $0.05 more for every 3x 20g packets of Bongo, Peanut Ruffs and Peanut Ruffs Spicy bought under this “special deal”.

Upon revisiting the supermarket the Council noted a change in the shelf price of each 20g packet from $0.35 to $0.39. However, the fact remains that numerous consumers have already been duped by the previous shelf price in comparison to the label marked ‘specials’.

The change in shelf price of this product was to defend their so called specials were “truly special”. These are the sneaking ways supermarkets use to fool consumers who trust when goods go on special then they will be paying less.

Similarly, there may be other items being marked on “special” but carrying higher prices. Hence, if consumers fail to pay attention to detail, they may continue to fork out more money for the goods believing they are getting a cheaper deal.

Further, the Council through complaints and its market surveillance programme(s) has established that some supermarkets are engaging in bait advertising. While their print advertisement entail a list of items on special prices, however, upon visiting the supermarkets the consumers are told that the items are no longer available.

The Council would like to remind traders that as per the Commerce Commission Decree 2010 section 86(1) (2) – Bait Advertising is an offence.

Alternatively, the Council would like to advice consumers not to be tricked by the sale prices and exercise prudence by cross checking the marked prices of items on the shelfs against the advertised sale prices.

The Council requires the solidarity of consumers in ensuring a fair and just marketplace for all.

Should consumers encounter unethical trade practices, please dial the Council’s National Consumer Helpline toll free number 155 to lodge your complaints.