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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Megan F
    • By MSE Megan F 16th May 17, 9:43 PM
    • 108Posts
    • 34Thanks
    MSE Megan F
    0 WOW
    MSE News:MSE investigation reveals John Lewis IS 'knowingly undersold'
    • #1
    • 16th May 17, 9:43 PM
    0 WOW
    MSE News:MSE investigation reveals John Lewis IS 'knowingly undersold' 16th May 17 at 9:43 PM
    John Lewis's famous 'Never Knowingly Undersold' policy has been called into question after it failed to reduce the price of a wide range of products it was aware were being sold cheaper elsewhere, a MoneySavingExpert.com investigation reveals...
    Read the full story:
    'MSE investigation reveals John Lewis IS 'knowingly undersold''

    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply. If you aren’t sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.
    Last edited by MSE Megan F; 16-05-2017 at 9:48 PM.

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Page 2
    • MakingUpTheNumbers
    • By MakingUpTheNumbers 17th May 17, 1:36 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    MakingUpTheNumbers
    I think we know this has been the case for a while now but useful to see it confirmed.
    Originally posted by POPPYOSCAR
    Yup, this isn't really news to most sensible people, it's just marketing really, caveat emptor..

    Be prepared to take them up on their promise to price match, but don't expect them to be aggressively, proactively price matching. At the very least, they haven't got the IT wherewithal to do it.
    • gwapenut
    • By gwapenut 17th May 17, 1:40 PM
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    gwapenut
    @topsoil
    I accept that John Lewis often offer far more bundled services than you may get with other retailers, and will often pricematch despite their overall offering being superior.

    However, does this give them the right to claim not to be knowingly undersold and then leave their product price unchanged for products where they offer no extra tangible benefits, and where the sale price is not a loss leader?
    • POPPYOSCAR
    • By POPPYOSCAR 17th May 17, 2:05 PM
    • 10,343 Posts
    • 21,389 Thanks
    POPPYOSCAR
    Some posters seem to be missing the point completely.

    It is not about JL and price matching for individual customers, it is about them stating if they actively seek out lower prices and if they know about a lower price they will lower their price as a matter of course.

    Clearly this is not happening.

    They should not make claims that they do something when they do not actually do it!.
    • dastep
    • By dastep 17th May 17, 2:10 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    dastep
    Isn't this accusation rather rich coming from Martin Lewis who originally created and advertised his website as though he was doing it to 'fight for the common man'?

    People flocked to his website because they were deceived into thinking that Martin was a guy who was on the side of the poor and cared about those who struggled with their mortgages, finances, groceries, etc.

    Then he revealed exactly his colours when he sold his website to the very people he claimed to be fighting against.

    You can fool some of the people some of the time......
    Last edited by dastep; 17-05-2017 at 2:23 PM.
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 17th May 17, 2:50 PM
    • 6,191 Posts
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    Doc N
    Isn't this accusation rather rich coming from Martin Lewis who originally created and advertised his website as though he was doing it to 'fight for the common man'?

    People flocked to his website because they were deceived into thinking that Martin was a guy who was on the side of the poor and cared about those who struggled with their mortgages, finances, groceries, etc.

    Then he revealed exactly his colours when he sold his website to the very people he claimed to be fighting against.

    You can fool some of the people some of the time......
    Originally posted by dastep
    And yet despite its open support for the Nazis in the 1930s people still buy the Daily Mail. Things move on. This is a fair and accurate report, whoever owns MSE.

    What surprises me is the diehard support for John Lewis from some of its customers, despite the fact that it's using a lie as its main advertising slogan. It's dishonest, and it doesn't reflect well on John Lewis. But then neither does deciding that some staff aren't partners after all, when it suits them, paying under the legal minimum wage, or falling foul of the Advertising Standards Authority.
    • oldwiring
    • By oldwiring 17th May 17, 3:04 PM
    • 2,222 Posts
    • 448 Thanks
    oldwiring
    I haven't got time to read the whole thread, so I apologise should my comment be covered already. TBH, if a business states it will meet a price, it means that, if asked, it will sell to the potential buyer at a competitor's price. I think MSE and its master do protest too much.

    That said, in other matters of late that I have had with JLP, it is clear they are becoming more commercial and inflexible unless put under pressure.
    • POPPYOSCAR
    • By POPPYOSCAR 17th May 17, 3:05 PM
    • 10,343 Posts
    • 21,389 Thanks
    POPPYOSCAR
    And yet despite its open support for the Nazis in the 1930s people still buy the Daily Mail. Things move on. This is a fair and accurate report, whoever owns MSE.

    What surprises me is the diehard support for John Lewis from some of its customers, despite the fact that it's using a lie as its main advertising slogan. It's dishonest, and it doesn't reflect well on John Lewis. But then neither does deciding that some staff aren't partners after all, when it suits them, paying under the legal minimum wage, or falling foul of the Advertising Standards Authority.
    Originally posted by Doc N
    Yes it is odd.

    In my experience whenever there has been a problem JL make excuses rather than holding their hands up and admitting to making a mistake.
    • topsoil
    • By topsoil 17th May 17, 3:34 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    topsoil
    Missing the point?
    I think the confusion caused by MSE and others is that 'Never Knowingly Undersold' is a slogan. It isn't a definitive part of the 'invitation to treat' that this report suggests.

    JL confirm that the slogan has a ‘meaning’ i.e. it is a pointer to the type of contract and experience customers will enjoy, including ‘service’ and effectively a price promise - there’s a definitive explanation on their website. Beyond JL:

    ‘Guinness is Good For You’ Non-alcoholic versions only?
    ‘Every Little Helps’.. Said the Old Lady as She Piddled in the Ocean’?
    ‘A Mars a Day’ 2 out 3 ain’t bad?
    ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ Not if you suffer from GERD?
    ‘For mash get Smash’ Want cheese but get chalk?

    Surely, we don’t take slogans literally, do we, because they all - including JL’s - fall apart under such scrutiny…

    What is more worrying is reports of poor customer service, although that’s not part of the MSE report.
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 17th May 17, 3:41 PM
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    MSE Martin
    Dastep writes,"Isn't this accusation rather rich coming from Martin Lewis who originally created and advertised his website as though he was doing it to 'fight for the common man'?

    People flocked to his website because they were deceived into thinking that Martin was a guy who was on the side of the poor and cared about those who struggled with their mortgages, finances, groceries, etc.

    Then he revealed exactly his colours when he sold his website to the very people he claimed to be fighting against.

    You can fool some of the people some of the time......"



    What utter tosh you speak. This site has always, and still does aim to "cut your bills and fight for financial justice." The fact it changed ownership hasn't changed that. Nor is the site owned by 'those he fought against' its owned by a group that also has comparison sites - not a product provider.

    Furthermore as an unnegotiable part of this sale I ensured this site is governed by a legally binding editorial code which means it will always put the consumer interest ahead of its own financial concerns and is free to comment on anything (including the comparison sites in the same group). Its editorial independence and freedom is still paramount.

    The journalism in article is pure fact based data journalism. If you have accusations to make about how this site now doesn't help consumers then do it with facts - not unfounded slurs - if you are right on any I will do my best to put things right.

    And if you don't like the style of the site, the man who founded it, or the work of the brilliant team of now 100 people who make a huge social impact on the pockets of the nation. My I suggest you simply don't use it and trot off!
    Last edited by MSE Martin; 17-05-2017 at 4:17 PM.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

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    • gwapenut
    • By gwapenut 17th May 17, 3:48 PM
    • 903 Posts
    • 374 Thanks
    gwapenut
    @topsoil
    You're confusing slogans with JL putting forward a bold claim and advertising a fact and business ethic which is simply not true. And it's not just a slogan - they elaborate with text on their website outlining what they claim to do when they find lower prices. They do not do what they claim to do.

    Of all the slogans you posted, only 2 have relevance, and 1 of those was also eventually squashed by advertising standards.

    ‘Guinness is Good For You’ Non-alcoholic versions only?
    That also fell foul of advertising standards and was subsequently changed to a more tongue in cheek "help the poor guinnless".

    ‘A Mars a Day’ 2 out 3 ain’t bad?
    Perhaps borderline, but not making any specific medical claims!

    I've another one - ASDA - "permanently low prices". They were told to stop using this phrase when some of those "permanent " reductions were reverted.

    So - there IS precedent.
    Last edited by gwapenut; 17-05-2017 at 3:50 PM.
    • quoia
    • By quoia 17th May 17, 3:51 PM
    • 13,292 Posts
    • 141,022 Thanks
    quoia
    Dastep writes,"Isn't this accusation rather rich coming from Martin Lewis who originally created and advertised his website as though he was doing it to 'fight for the common man'?

    People flocked to his website because they were deceived into thinking that Martin was a guy who was on the side of the poor and cared about those who struggled with their mortgages, finances, groceries, etc.

    Then he revealed exactly his colours when he sold his website to the very people he claimed to be fighting against.

    You can fool some of the people some of the time......"



    What utter tosh you speak. This site has always, and still does aim to "cut your bills and fight for financial justice." The fact it changed ownership hasn't changed that. Nor is the site owned by 'those he fought against' its owned by a group that also has comparison sites - not a product provider.

    Furthermore as an unnegotiable part of this sale I ensured this site is governed by a legally binding editorial code which means it will always put the consumer interest ahead of its own financial concerns and is free to comment on anything (including the comparison sites in the same group). Its editorial independence and freedom is still paramount.

    The journalism in article is pure fact based data journalism. If you have accusations to make about how this site now doesn't help consumers then do it with facts - not unfounded sluts - if you are right on any I will do my best to put things right.

    And if you don't like the style of the site, the man who founded it, or the work of the brilliant team of now 100 people who make a huge social impact on the pockets of the nation. My I suggest you simply don't use it and trot off!
    Originally posted by MSE Martin
    Hi Martin

    Typo I presume
    There are 10 types of people in the world. ‹(•¿•)›
    ‹(•¿•)› Those that understand binary and those that do not!


    Veni, Vidi, VISA ! ................. I came, I saw, I PURCHASED
    (11)A104.28S94.98O112.46N86.73D101.02(12)J130.63F126.76M134.38A200.98M156.30J95.56J102.85A175.93
    S ω6.59 so far ..
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 17th May 17, 4:17 PM
    • 8,108 Posts
    • 42,239 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    Thanks quoia - yes typo!!!! Fixed now
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
    • kjn1000
    • By kjn1000 17th May 17, 4:19 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    kjn1000
    To be honest this report doesnt suprise me, I tried to price match in their store recently and was made to feel awful.

    I admittedly looked a bit scruffy ( at the time my baby was only 8 weeks old) but the service I recieved was awful. I had to wait at least 10 minutes for any sales assistant to come to the cash desk which was where i decided to stand since none of the sales assistants came anywhere near where I was looking at the products. Eventually a man came across asking if he could help. I explained I wanted to buy a DSLR and that i had chosen the Nikon D3000 but it was cheaper in Currys up the road. He promptly told me, you should buy from there then as the price matching service takes up to a week to complete and promptly left. At no pont was I rude to him but this service and the fact that i showed him proof that it was cheaper elsewhere has made me refuse to step foot in there since. If staff are putting off going through the price matching process with the customers what hope has the company got?!
    • Makethedayscount
    • By Makethedayscount 17th May 17, 4:26 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 264 Thanks
    Makethedayscount
    Contacted JL three weeks ago about a Moto G5 phone which was £10 dearer than Tesco, Currys and other shops. They said I could claim the money back after buying it. It still is selling for the original more expensive price. Have decided to buy it at Tesco and bank the clubcard points. Ultimately JL have lost out. I still get the same phone at a lower cost and I'll continue to shop around in future.

    • redux
    • By redux 17th May 17, 7:01 PM
    • 16,840 Posts
    • 21,029 Thanks
    redux
    I hardly dare say this here, after Martin has commented on the thread himself.

    I look forward to hearing that Moneysavingexpert's much repeated slogan has come true, that one of its Big Switch gas and electric deals is actually "cheaper than the cheapest" in all supply areas at once, or even just in mine for the first time ever.

    I've pointed out in the past, after doing a comparison at lots of postcodes, that one of these deals was actually only the cheapest in 8 out of the 14 supply areas.

    A staff member on here then started slagging off my existing supplier (which at the time was cheapest in the other 6 areas), rather than acknowledge or undertake to check the facts of what I had said, or consider asking the nominated supplier for feedback.

    Another time, MSE fervour for the subject, based on the fact that two-thirds of people do not switch to cheaper fixed tariffs, and that these people will definitely save money if encouraged to act, emerges very clearly, but again this evangelism does not make the slogan itself substantively true.
    Last edited by redux; 17-05-2017 at 7:19 PM.
    • Lewie
    • By Lewie 17th May 17, 8:22 PM
    • 256 Posts
    • 59 Thanks
    Lewie
    JL have knowingly lied for years.
    This is their reply regarding a request from me to have the in store price of an item changed in 2012 so that I could walk in and purchase it off the shelf with no fuss.

    Thank you for your email with regards to the Humax HDR FOX T2 digital recorder (product code: 858 18110).

    Although we do take our commitment to be "Never Knowingly Undersold" very seriously, we are not aware of any upcoming reductions for this particular model, as we would not be given any prior notice.

    I am able to process a price match request for you via email if you wish. If you would like me to process this, please provide the following information:
    - Your full address
    - Your contact number
    - The address of the Richer Sounds store that you have seen the item at the lower price

    Once I have this information, I will be happy to process a price match for you.

    When I pointed out that they would knowingly be being undersold they came up with several excuses for not lowering the price for all their customers.
    JL are slowly deteriorating.
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 17th May 17, 9:10 PM
    • 6,191 Posts
    • 19,122 Thanks
    Doc N
    JL have knowingly lied for years.

    JL are slowly deteriorating.
    Originally posted by Lewie
    I'd agree, with a slight reservation over the word 'slowly'.

    They've obviously decided a more ruthless, Tesco-style, approach is needed for them to survive in the tough competitive climate they now face, but dishonesty like this, coupled with ever-declining standards of customer service is probably going to backfire on them.

    The only possible justification for high prices (and that delivery charge, even to store!) is top quality customer service, and they're certainly not providing that any more since all the staff cuts.

    Their once-unique 5 year TV warranty is now bettered (as with the prices) by Richer Sounds, who offer 6 years and much better customer service, and they're struggling to find any good reason for people to shop with them. Waitrose is losing out to Aldi, who are picking up a lot of their customers, and I think the future for John Lewis could be very bleak.

    I can guess now why Andy Street jumped ship recently. I think he could see the writing on the wall. Anyone remember Terry Leahy jumping the Tesco ship just before their results took a nosedive?
    • boatman
    • By boatman 18th May 17, 5:52 AM
    • 3,287 Posts
    • 2,319 Thanks
    boatman
    You have opened a whole can of worms here Martin, good luck!!

    Perhaps the real debate should be about why JL are not always honouring their long held policy. They are well loved and for the most part respected, but they are under huge pressure from competition who are not playing fair. Maybe JL and MSE should join forces for a compaign against tax avoidance by many retailers. The way things are going we will be left with Amazon and no one else.
    • richardw
    • By richardw 18th May 17, 8:29 AM
    • 17,861 Posts
    • 7,278 Thanks
    richardw
    .....address of the Richer Sounds store that you have seen the item at the lower price.....
    Originally posted by Lewie
    Did Richer Sounds have a number of the item in stock?
    They are often criticised for their poor stock levels.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
    • Lewie
    • By Lewie 18th May 17, 10:42 AM
    • 256 Posts
    • 59 Thanks
    Lewie
    My daughter used to work for JL. She loved it to start with, then came the cuts and she found 'management' unbearable so left. It was a good move.
    As for Andy Street, he was likely responsible for putting the hole in the hull. Did he jump ship because he'd caused the damage? Perhaps he was pushed.
    Either way he was at the helm and now the workers (they're not 'partners', that's patronising bullsh@te) get one of the lowest bonuses in years!
    Can't believe folk have voted for him to be a mayor!
    More money for him to squander.


    Yes Richard, stock levels were good, it was a relatively new machine at the time, plus they now had info that they were being undersold but didn't change the price in any of their stores. The claim is immoral if not illegal.
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