Tesco's 'per unit' prices don't add up

Tue, Oct 30, 2012, 00:00

YOUR CONSUMER QUERIES:IN EARLY October a reader called Conor was on the Tesco website looking for nappies for his child.

He noticed that the unit price on the website was wrong.

It said the price of one nappy in a 46-pack of Pampers was 28 cent but by his calculation, a pack of 36 nappies costing €11 worked out at 30.5 cent each.

While it may only be 2.5 cent, it means a price discrepancy of 90 cent per packet, which is not insubstantial, particularly is you are the father of a very young child and watching every penny.

He contacted the store and was told in an email that “the unit prices shown may be incorrect in some cases. We are working hard to correct this but, until then, please disregard the unit price shown.”

So he waited. In fact he waited 11 days and then noticed that the unit price on Pampers nappies was still wrong.

He wrote to the company with a simple question. “Can I trust the unit pricing in Tesco? My budget is very tight at the moment so every cent counts for me,” he wrote.

He received another response, from a different Tesco customer service rep. “I’m sorry to hear that you’re disappointed with the unit price on our website,” the response came. “I can imagine how confusing this must be for you so please accept my apologies for this.”

The mail goes on to say, however, that “as you were previously advised, in prices and Vat section under product terms conditions it states: ‘Due to a temporary technical difficulty since upgrading the website, the unit prices shown may be incorrect in some cases. We are working hard to correct this but, until then, please disregard the unit price shown. The selling prices are correct.’ Our business support team are aware of this and it is being looked into.”

We contacted Tesco to find out more. We wanted to know how many of its unit prices on its website were wrong, how long they had been wrong and how long it would take for them to fix this “temporary technical difficulty”. We were told that they are looking into the matter and would get back to us.

We’re still waiting.