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Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Thursday 9 August 2018

Not Banned From Waitrose

Do please check your till receipts. I am afraid that Waitrose has been at it again and I have    just happened to be around. (see http://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/search/label/Waitrose).

TO: customersupport@waitrose.co.uk 
I plead guilty to being a frequent complainant but I merely seek to encourage you to comply with the law in relation to the price labelling of goods which you offer for sale. Given the spirit in which I draw attention to my experiences at your Richmond-upon-Thames branch, it is my earnest hope that I shall not be barred from it or any of your other branches and that you will take your responsibilities more seriously.
Twice last week I had cause to complain at Richmond (disregarding the episode of the water melon which due to an aberration attributable to the intense heat I had selected for purchase notwithstanding that It was gashed and soft to the touch on one section and for which I  received a refund and a free replacement in accordance with your policy).
The first cause for complaint was over a sign which represented that upon purchase of an Alpro Almond ‘milk’ an Alpro Go On would be provided free of charge. Do take a look at the sign.

In characters the size of flees you may be able to discern (provided you are wearing strong spectacles) ‘150g’. Those characters are not repeated on the prominent red section of the sign. It would have made sense if you were intending to ensure that no customers were misled to have displayed the free product next to the priced product. But no. The free product was apparently to be found in a refrigerator on the opposite side of the aisle. My shopping companion who was in charge of the proposed selection enquired of a senior member of staff as he flying along the aisle as to the location of the free product whereupon he pointed to the opposite refrigerator and continued his journey. My companion selected the product he had pointed to and in due course I presented the checkout assistant with both products. Having paid and checked my till receipt I found I had been charged for the Go On. Customer Service informed me that the selected Go On was a larger size than 150g. We had been misled. The assistant there mentioned that there had been a number of enquiries that day by customers about the size of the product being provided free. Of course, there had. A number of other customers taken in like us. ‘Go On’ you might say. You had the good sense to refund the price charged for the ostensibly free product.
The second cause for complaint was the charge for two tubs of ‘Happy Pear’ humus which according to the price label were on promotion at two for the price of one.yet once again this was not picked up at the till and I was charged for two tubs instead of one. This I discovered on checking my receipt and I obtained a refund. Here is the till receipt.

Two instances of price misrepresentation experienced in one week in the same store by one customer. How much in a year is Waitrose wrongly inducing its customers nationwide to hand over? Not only is this unlawful but it is reckless and grossly unfair on your customers, the majority of whom I fancy do not check their receipts.
On the way out of the store (before entering the lift which is STILL auto announcing it is going down when in fact it is going up) I encountered an acquaintance who was having  trouble with her car park ticket for the fourth time. I suspect she thinks I have been hard on you in the past  but by the look of fury on her face she probably reckons I have let you off lightly. 
Yours sincerely 
Stephen Gold

FROM: Waitrose Customer Service  3 AUGUST 2018 13.36
Thanks for letting us know we charged you incorrectly at our Richmond branch recently. I'm sorry about this and can imagine how frustrating this must have been for you.

Mistakes at our tills are thankfully rare, but thank you for letting us know about the double scanned item that happened recently. Thank you also for bringing the poor quality melon to our attention.  I'm pleased the branch were able to refund you for these issues, and we've discussed with the branch to try and prevent similar issues in future.

I'm sorry you also felt our recent promotion for Alpro milk was misleading. We do take great pains to make sure all our prices are clear on promotional shelves, and have rigorous procedures for checking that our prices are correct. I can assure you we don’t intend to mislead our customers in any way and we will certainly consider your comments at our future reviews.

Kind regards 
Waitrose Customer Care
Case Reference: 05118145