I bet Oscar Wilde is turning in his grave!
Scots with an eye for a bargain and a healthy thirst mobilised en masse yesterday to storm several Tesco stores after a pricing error offered boxes of beer at irresistable prices. The deal was supposed to be "buy three boxes of beer and save £11", but punters soon realised that instead of charging 20 quid for the triple whammy …
The price on the shelf only constitutes an 'invitation to treat'. When you take the beer mountain to the till you are making an offer to complete the contract at that price. A contract only comes into being when Tesco accepts your offer and you pay (so called 'consideration'). Up until that point the seller or the buyer can pull out of the negotiations, or change the conditions without prejudice, so Tesco are fully within their rights to say there has been a pricing error and the customer has no legal protection.
Although I hope they issued the check-out staff with cattle prods when they tried to explain this.
Mind you, I wonder if anyone got the lower price on the self-service tills?
Several moons ago, when I worked at Tesco, I sometimes had the job of oversight on the self checkouts. (they're all manufactured by NCR and the manual inside the top lid makes for some amusing reading - also some have keyboards in the cabinet underneath the main controller's station, they all run Windows XP!)
There's no way to manually adjust prices of things already scanned (deliberately!), you can only void off items if the customer doesn't want to buy them.
I'm sure they will have cottoned on though if every single customer just had three multipacks of Stella... However the tills could just as easily have been closed, forcing customers to go the manual route.
the price on the shelf is the price that has to be charged if it is lower. Otherwise it is false advertising, bait and switch and few other interestingly named laws.
I have had managers get mad if there is a mistake on the shelf price but I have never had one dare to not honor it.
A couple of years ago I snapped up a bottle of Bruichladdich from Tossco in Harlow. The tilldroid ran it past the scanner a Several of times, but The System refused to recognise it. A The Supervisor was called. She returned five minutes later.
"Computer says no" she informed me. "This whisky is not on the system".
I concluded that my removing the offending bottle from the store would not constitute theft, since they weren't selling it in the first place. Sadly the horriblemarket operatives didn't see it that way and in the end I had to fork out lots of money for a bottle of the Balvenie Doublewood instead.
Sorry, perhaps I misunderstood.
The deal was supposed to be "buy three boxes of beer and save £11", but punters soon realised that instead of charging 20 quid for the triple whammy, Tesco was asking just 11.
I didn't glean from this the difference between shelf price and till price. I'm not quite sure how you did, but then, I am half way through a crate of cheap beer.
Numpty. The SHELF price wasn't causing the stampede, the TILL price was. Trading standards could well go after all the lucky few who got the lower price and demand that they pay the advertised price? No. Thought not. Tesco's mistake, but nothing illegal, just a bit of a bargain for a few.
I wake up in that state - of being Scottish. Jimmy.
I am sober, but of course if everybody else around one is in the tired and emotional state, one slips into the argot oneself, just to fit in.
It really would be just the same in Tonbridge. I assume that separate alcohol sale rules in Scotland are part of the reason why it didn't happen.
Remember when that ship spilled its cargo on Branscombe beach, and hordes of British looters turned up to walk off with it?
Or , see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booze_cruise
You mean there's a country in the world where 36 cans of beer for 11 quid would lead to people actually staying away from the supermarkets in disgust? (apart from countries where beer is even cheaper than that obv.. if such a place exists)
In other news, disgraced bear fulfills stereotype by actually pooping in woods.
The plural is correct, we have 12 of them at last count...
I suspect that we'd have the same sort of stampeed down here too, I gave up Tesco when I got a car that could take me to Waitrose - The regular chav fights to try to get sholifted booze out of the shop we getting boring...
I was there last night standing in a queue at a self service checkout for about 25mins wondering what was going on. I asked a staff member and she told me there was a pricing glitch and that the 3 for £20 deal was being charged at £11 and that when the stock was gone that would be it. Some of the Tesco staff were filling trolleys as well.
Everyone was only paying £11. Not sure if the store manager took the view that it was easier to let the price stand rather than face the possibility of a riot.
Makes a change that they get taken for a ride, normally they overcharge. I have had to complain at least once per week so far this year about being overcharged compared to the shelf price.
These sorts of stories are not really new, it's just the speed of modern communication that helps them achieve critical mass in such short order.
I remember a story in the early 1980s on That's Life! (yes, I really am that old and sad) about a BT phone box, somewhere out in the sticks in Northumberland if memory serves, that was incorrectly configured and was letting people call international numbers at local rates. As word slowly spread, nearby residents were more and more mystified at the ever-increasing numbers of people, many clearly not local, turning up to use this otherwise nondescript phone.
The story finally hit the media when a hundred or so Asians turned up in the early hours, armed with bagfuls of 10 pence pieces, and formed an orderly queue outside the box. News had reached Asian communities in the Midlands and spread very quickly, and they had hired two coaches to drive them north for the day so they could talk to their families on the cheap.
Makes a change from getting home and finding Tescos (and others) have charged you more at the till than the price on the shelf or even marked on the packaging.
Most will however cough-up at least the shortfall, if you can prove it, which isn't always easy though. I'm 4p better off this morning having been 4p down yesterday ! Every little helps.
Actually, this is a huge misconception, as a couple of others have mentioned, it is not the law to sell anything at the advertised price, im not going to go on about that as its already mentioned in detail above, however, on top of that law, you have the right not to buy something and they have the right not to sell it.
Most retailers will have a customer service measure that will say, "sell it at the price advertised" which wouldnt apply in this case but also its store manager descretion, ie they dont need to sell it.
all they have to do is remove the product for 24 hours
The "i know my rights brigade" as they are called in many retail outlets actually know very little of their rights, infact if you harp on about trading standards you will find the retailer will more than likely hand you your coat and show you the door. Be nice and you might just get lucky, becoming an arse about things usually results in you getting nothing at all.
The cause of this pricing was an input error by the Tesco promotions data entry staff in India. It should have been "£11 off 3 cases of beer" but instead was entered as "£11 for 3 cases of beer". It's an easy and quite understandable mistake to have made, and not a foul up that would have been impossible had such data entry work not been outsourced.
In case anybody's wondering, even with the "£11 off 3 cases of beer" Tesco would still have made a loss. These promotions are loss leaders to get punters into a store where there's a good chance of them buying something else - or possibly returning when the promotion isn't on.
Tesco are now scrambling to get beer up to Scotland to replace the rather unexpected rush on current stock...
Anon - for what should damn obvious reasons :)