Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Misleading Price Labels

Have you been taken in by large labels reading ‘50p’ or ‘1/2 price’ only to later discover that they’re not what they seem at first glance?

On several occasions recently I’ve homed in on a label displaying a low price only to find on closer inspection, that there is small print accompanying it saying ‘save’ (50p), with ‘save’ being a fraction of the size of the ‘50p’, or a large ‘reduced by 75p’, in small print ‘now £1.80’.

Even Marks and Spencer are at it. On a recent trip to my local branch, I saw a large sign hanging over the toiletry department shouting ‘1/2 price’, which on closer scrutiny whispered ‘buy 1 get 1 (1/2 price).

Now I’ve learnt to check and double-check these signs and labels, having been caught out in the past. Indeed, I have seen others questioning a price at the till only to have the small print price pointed out to them.

But how many shoppers have picked up an item, believing the large print figure displayed to be the cost, not a reduction, and not noticed the higher price at the till? How many of you actually check your till receipts before leaving the store? At this point you could still return to customer services to get a refund if you don’t want to pay the unexpected higher price. But how many more of you never realise that you have paid much more than you intended?
A good example of price labelling, price is clearly displayed 

Is this what the manufacturers (sometimes the price has been labelled at source, as with magazines for example) and stores really intend? Are they hoping you will believe that you are paying a lower price, therefore enticing you to buy under false pretences? Pretty underhand if they are.

I expect that they would say that they are trying to highlight the saving to consumers, so in that case here’s a little tip from me. Use print of identical size for every part of the phrase “Save 50p, now £1.50” for example as opposed to “save 50p now £1.50”. No small print, no confusion. 

Let me know your experiences of misleading labelling email

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