Breakfast TV had a big thing this morning on supermarket special offers being misleading. I was quite surprised at how polite the response from the supermarkets were, to be honest.
I have moaned about "special offers" before, the classic being confusion over adding and removing percentages, but this time I am with the supermarkets.
The sort of thing there were slating was a "3 to 2" offer.
This is a very simple concept for everyone to understand, surely. The item has a price, and if you buy one or two of them, that is the item price you pay, but if you buy three of them then you pay as if for the price of only two.
A "3 for 2" offer is not in any way whatsover suggesting that the item price is lower (or higher) than it was yesterday or will be tomorrow. It is a price right now, and a choice of buying a specific quantity for a specific price, or not. It is clear and unambiguous, and not misleading.
The supermarket did exactly what they said - they charged for two item's price when buying three, exactly as the offer.
The complaint, and crux of the TV article, was that "before the offer" the item price was lower than when they started the offer. In this instance the "offer" did make the price per item lower than before when buying three items, but buying one or two cost more than before.
BUT THE SUPERMARKET NEVER SAID THIS WAS A CHEAPER PRICE THAN BEFORE!
They were not at all misleading in their offer. Prices can change whenever they want and by whatever amount they want. There are rules on claiming a "reduced price" to avoid prices going up for a day and then going down a bit, etc. A "reduced price" offer would be misleading if it was not indeed a genuine reduction. But this is not one of those instances. It was not misleading. It was "3 for 2" as stated.
If the TV article had been at all balanced they would have pointed this out, but no, they claimed it was misleading, and even managed to get the supermarkets to apologise for a "mistake"...