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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Megan F
    • By MSE Megan F 16th May 17, 9:43 PM
    • 80Posts
    • 28Thanks
    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 3
    • boatman
    • By boatman 18th May 17, 1:38 PM
    • 3,244 Posts
    • 2,294 Thanks
    boatman
    I'm assuming trading standards are actively investigating this. I would agree that for many years they have not reduced the price, just offered a price match.

    Here is one I sent in 2014:

    To: customerservices@johnlewis.com
    Subject: Complaint

    "I have noticed that the ipad mini 16gb at asda.com is £50 less than john lewis.Com, I'm aware that there are several people who have asked for a pricematch and it has been agreed. Could you explain why you have not lowered your price as you are now aware you are being undersold"

    This is their response:

    "Thank you for your email in regards to the price match on the Apple iPad mini.

    At John Lewis.com, our prices are set by our Buying teams who pro-actively check and match the lowest national prices of our national high street competitors, including their online and sale prices (including promotions and Extravaganzas) to ensure that we set a fair national price. This means we will match prices for major national retail chains who trade on the same basis as us and apply the same prices to the majority of their shops across the country.

    The aim of national pro-active checking is to match the lowest national price on the market so that a customer is unlikely to find better value elsewhere.

    Unfortunately, there are occasions where we cannot lower our national price as it may not meet our criteria to do so; for example, the competitor may only have limited stock unlike ourselves or the competitor in question may not be a national competitor. This is why we give customers the opportunity to submit a 'one-off' price match request as you have done so below.

    I am sorry for any disappointment caused. If I can assist you further then do not hesitate to contact me again.


    Yours sincerely,


    If they refuse to match the Asda website, what hope is there for smaller retailers? Strikes me its completely at their discretion, so open to abuse, as has been discovered by MSE.
    Last edited by boatman; 18-05-2017 at 4:11 PM. Reason: ll
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 18th May 17, 8:41 PM
    • 8,107 Posts
    • 42,239 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    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.
    You make an interesting point and certainly were we to simply give you a link to click and get that tariff as some collective providers do I think you'd have a point. However when we use that phrase we always in the large print explanation in the email

    1) qualify that is based on someone on the typical usage
    2) we always say that we make you go through a comparison because your exact winner depends on region and usage and our tariff doesn't always win

    And then we do a comparison and show people how it compares. No one get can the tariff without seeing how it compares; and our comparison is whole of market.

    I think that is an appropriate and fair way to behave. And certainly ensures no one gets the tariff if it isn't right for them.
    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
    • boatman
    • By boatman 18th May 17, 11:02 PM
    • 3,244 Posts
    • 2,294 Thanks
    boatman
    You make an interesting point and certainly were we to simply give you a link to click and get that tariff as some collective providers do I think you'd have a point. However when we use that phrase we always in the large print explanation in the email

    1) qualify that is based on someone on the typical usage
    2) we always say that we make you go through a comparison because your exact winner depends on region and usage and our tariff doesn't always win

    And then we do a comparison and show people how it compares. No one get can the tariff without seeing how it compares; and our comparison is whole of market.

    I think that is an appropriate and fair way to behave. And certainly ensures no one gets the tariff if it isn't right for them.
    Originally posted by MSE Martin
    Don't know who this Martin bloke is but he's in the wrong discussion thread, this is John Lewis don't you know ;-)
    • redux
    • By redux 19th May 17, 1:31 AM
    • 16,717 Posts
    • 20,795 Thanks
    redux
    You make an interesting point and certainly were we to simply give you a link to click and get that tariff as some collective providers do I think you'd have a point. However when we use that phrase we always in the large print explanation in the email

    1) qualify that is based on someone on the typical usage
    2) we always say that we make you go through a comparison because your exact winner depends on region and usage and our tariff doesn't always win

    And then we do a comparison and show people how it compares. No one get can the tariff without seeing how it compares; and our comparison is whole of market.

    I think that is an appropriate and fair way to behave. And certainly ensures no one gets the tariff if it isn't right for them.
    Originally posted by MSE Martin
    Thanks for the reply.

    I know that, and I've had some similar discussion before, and it was during one episode that I did those searches at average usage in all areas.

    What you say is a fair way to behave, but it has however turned out that not one of these collective deals has ever come out well here, except one that was second cheapest for a couple of days until others produced their next round.

    Why some suppliers compete well in some but not all areas might be worth asking them about, but perhaps there wouldn't be a straight answer, rather blanded out like some of the JL responses some people have quoted here.
    • Froggitt
    • By Froggitt 20th May 17, 11:33 AM
    • 5,767 Posts
    • 3,052 Thanks
    Froggitt
    Never knowingly undersold means you can get the difference back if you could have bought it cheaper elsewhere, not John Lewis should pro-actively drop their prices.

    These days, the price match procedure is more stringent.

    You inform John Lewis that there is a cheaper price, which needs to be a physical outlet near a John Lewis store, not an online offer. It also needs to be in stock, not some flash in the pan promotion sold out in two minutes.

    They then confirm you will get the difference back.

    Last year, I bought a Bosch lawn mower this way, based on an Argos price. I got the confirmation, paid full John Lewis price, then they refunded the difference.

    The article seems to be saying John Lewis has to price match any insane promotion going, which is a sure way to bankrupt any retailer.
    Originally posted by Pincher
    It's just easier these days to buy at the competitor store, rather than going through the JL undersale pavlova.
    illegitimi non carborundum
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 20th May 17, 11:50 AM
    • 6,148 Posts
    • 19,058 Thanks
    Doc N
    It's just easier these days to buy at the competitor store, rather than going through the JL undersale pavlova.
    Originally posted by Froggitt
    That is very true - unless it's a store with particularly bad customer service or an inferior guarantee. Most stores these days, though, are at least as good as John Lewis (and often substantially better).
    • vikingaero
    • By vikingaero 20th May 17, 5:42 PM
    • 10,268 Posts
    • 12,960 Thanks
    vikingaero
    No one forces JL to price match, just as no one forces a customer to buy from them. Some people will buy from JL no matter the price. For those customers that are price sensitive JL are offering the NKU guarantee (subject to T&C's etc) to encourage people to buy from them. For JL to renege on that is fraudulent and/or negligent.
    The man without a signature.
    • vikingaero
    • By vikingaero 21st May 17, 8:45 AM
    • 10,268 Posts
    • 12,960 Thanks
    vikingaero
    I've had a read of the Disqus comments attached to the article. It seems that supporters of JL are annoyed that you are criticising their favourite store - I like to shop there or I like the shopping environment as justification for NKU being fraudulent. I suppose its like someone criticising the football team you support. You get back the accusations of a bad article or clickbait. Saying clickbait is like a kneejerk reaction to something you don't like.... in 2010.

    Interesting that a few people focused on the one item with the 1p reduction as being petty without seeing the grand scheme.

    I'm not sure why JL need NKU? Most of their loyal customers will still shop there at the price displayed. Fact is that most of us will price check ourselves for large purchases so it's rare that price sensitive customers will give them their custom.
    The man without a signature.
    • theblagger
    • By theblagger 21st May 17, 6:32 PM
    • 1,860 Posts
    • 2,409 Thanks
    theblagger
    Seriously , John Lewis is not all that nowadays, far better prices and customer service elsewhere, the one at Stratford / London is a shocker for CS
    tinfoil hat ...

    Derisive attempt on behalf of blind conformists to discredit and stigmatise those who dare to question authority, ill thought out policies, PR Stunts....
    • takethemon
    • By takethemon 6th Jun 17, 1:42 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    takethemon
    John Lewis attempts to justify itself.
    I posted a short reference re MSE findings on TrustPilot, which received a response from JL.
    TrustScore 1.5 / 10
    3,155 Reviews
    Reply from John Lewis

    Published 17 May 2017 Dear Ian, we are very disappointed to hear of your concern at the article by Money Saving Expert. Never Knowingly Undersold is at the heart of everything we do at John Lewis and our dedicated price monitoring team proactively check tens of thousands of products everyday so our customers can be confident in getting the best possible price on the high street. If a customer has found an identical product, sold with the same conditions, we would match the price. You can find our terms and conditions for this on our website http://bit.ly/2mcSu7O. The article unfortunately focuses on a small number of specific examples, rather than the millions of prices that we lower each year and I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that we are absolutely committed to Never Knowingly Undersold, which has been at our core since 1925. Thanks for taking the time to get in touch with ourselves - Alan.
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 6th Jun 17, 2:36 PM
    • 6,148 Posts
    • 19,058 Thanks
    Doc N
    I posted a short reference re MSE findings on TrustPilot, which received a response from JL.
    TrustScore 1.5 / 10
    3,155 Reviews
    Reply from John Lewis

    Published 17 May 2017 Dear Ian, we are very disappointed to hear of your concern at the article by Money Saving Expert. Never Knowingly Undersold is at the heart of everything we do at John Lewis and our dedicated price monitoring team proactively check tens of thousands of products everyday so our customers can be confident in getting the best possible price on the high street. If a customer has found an identical product, sold with the same conditions, we would match the price. You can find our terms and conditions for this on our website http://bit.ly/2mcSu7O. The article unfortunately focuses on a small number of specific examples, rather than the millions of prices that we lower each year and I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that we are absolutely committed to Never Knowingly Undersold, which has been at our core since 1925. Thanks for taking the time to get in touch with ourselves - Alan.
    Originally posted by takethemon
    Just two words: Utter B@llocks
    • POPPYOSCAR
    • By POPPYOSCAR 12th Jun 17, 9:51 PM
    • 10,299 Posts
    • 21,282 Thanks
    POPPYOSCAR
    I love JL, a UK tax payer unlike many and owned by it's staff. Top service always in my experience too.
    Originally posted by Doinfine
    I think some of the staff would disagree with you about that going by my conversations with them. They do not seem to feel like they are.


    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/mar/09/john-lewis-staff-bonus-6-profits


    John Lewis has slashed its staff bonus to just 6% of salary, the lowest level since the 1950s, despite a 21% rise in pre-tax profits.
    Last edited by POPPYOSCAR; 12-06-2017 at 9:54 PM.
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