"Price promises aren't usually worth the paper they're written on" Blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.




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  • Surely the whole issue is about comparison "like 4 like". If an item is more expensive at John Lewis because it has an extra year warranty then the comparison with an item from another retailer is invalid if they don't have an extra years warranty as well.
    Maybe John Lewis should make more of the extra year and instead of calling it free show it as an important element of the price. It is far better than the hidden extras being charged by other retailers.
  • syskysysky Forumite
    87 Posts
    i dont usually bother with price comparison but just buy from the people that do it cheaper as it is, although john lewis customer services might be worth the hassle they ve always been good when i went in even waitrose food and home which is basically the same. so i do like them for that, but dont usually buy white goods from them, however did buy a sewing machine few years back simply cos they give real good demonstrations and you can try it out in store, etc etc. and have to add they were the best price as i could pick up after my shopping trip and everyone else was more once you added delivery.
  • I've been thinking about how marketing is becoming so much more aggressive, so it's a timely subject for me. I'm beginning to feel overloaded and fed up of callers [who call despite checking I'm on the list; how many people can be bothered to take MORE time out of their day to report these people?], tired of ads everywhere, tired of ads pushed through my letterbox and tired of the ploy in shops which make us walk the whole length of the store for necessities hoping we'll pick something else up on the way. This insistent push for our attention is costing our time, our energy, making us work harder, walk longer.. I feel [hope] it will backfire on these companies who appear to feel if they push hard enough someone will crack and if one in a hundred does then great. People will tire en masse, and retire from the thinking mode we have slipped into - been pushed into - and learn to ignore it all. But it is difficult when the attack is on all sides and everywhere. I just hope and wish for the time when freedom of choice means real freedom from pressure to choose!

    So thank you for this, Martin, for making us aware is the first step to avoiding the snare! [sorry :)]

    PS A friend - dear dear friend! - just told me about adblock; the freedom from the google ads which pop up everywhere is immense! I used to like the odd ad, they can point to something interesting, but it's ridiculous now.
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
    8.3K Posts
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    counsjim wrote: »
    Surely the whole issue is about comparison "like 4 like". If an item is more expensive at John Lewis because it has an extra year warranty then the comparison with an item from another retailer is invalid if they don't have an extra years warranty as well.
    Maybe John Lewis should make more of the extra year and instead of calling it free show it as an important element of the price. It is far better than the hidden extras being charged by other retailers.

    Yes I agree to an extent. My problem is the reason its not like for like is because John Lewis changes the nature of the product itself, not due to externalities.

    As an extreme example it could, arbitrarily (not saying it would) equally add a 'getting home theft cover' to everything over £20 buy in the store that covers you from theft on the way home. This would cost nothing, but effectively mean its price promise was invalid on everything as it isn't like-for-like.

    Martin
    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.
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  • I've been told that carpet shops get round this by giving their own "names" to the same carpet (make, quality & colour) eg one shop may name a carpet "Spring" and another could call the same carpet "Marsh", making it very easy for a shop to claim a price promise. How many other products could this trick apply to? I am less likely to go near a shop making these claims now - it seems so easy to get round the price promise that you can't trust it.
  • Surely that follows why eletrical companies produce 'exclusive' models for shops to sell meaning price comparision is impossible. I am sure if you looked into it they would be the same components.
  • JL have offered an extra 5 years warranty on some TVs in the past so it was definitely worthwhile doing the pricematch legwork! Now, there's no point at all. Just buy somewhere else.

    Richer Sounds actually beat competitors prices instead of just mtaching, though they're not as generous as they used to be with this.
  • DJBenzDJBenz Forumite
    47 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Pmarmalade wrote: »
    JL have offered an extra 5 years warranty on some TVs in the past so it was definitely worthwhile doing the pricematch legwork! Now, there's no point at all. Just buy somewhere else.

    I bought a TV from them a few years ago and it's still within its free 5 year warranty. And I pricematched the best price I could find at the time. As you rightly say, it's hardly worth the effort now if they aren't offering that any more.

    However, if we take the attitude that extended warranties are a bit of a waste of time (when paid for), as they only cover the period the item is least likely to fail, then JL are doing themselves out of business from dedicated money savers. If they looked at their records and found that hardly anyone was taking advantage of the warranty, then they have removed a USP (Unique-(ish) Selling Point) from their business.

    Go over to the AVForums and you'll find many people who always find the best price on TVs and then pricematch with JL to get the free warranty. That's a pretty significant chunk of business to throw away if those people then go and buy based on price alone, or with someone like a Panasonic store, that occasionally offers a free 5-year warranty on TVs they sell.
  • ashmitashmit Forumite
    622 Posts
    So what's your opinion of Asda's scheme Martin - where they will give you a voucher if your shopping wasn't 10% cheaper than the rest?

    It's faffy, in my opinion, but I keep getting vouchers for a few quid off my next shop even though Asda was already cheapest, so I'm all in favour!
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
    2.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Name Dropper
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    a!!!!! wrote: »
    So what's your opinion of Asda's scheme Martin - where they will give you a voucher if your shopping wasn't 10% cheaper than the rest?

    It's faffy, in my opinion, but I keep getting vouchers for a few quid off my next shop even though Asda was already cheapest, so I'm all in favour!
    Remember this - the Asda price guarantee forces you to return to the store and do your shopping there again to use your voucher. Work out the amount of profit they make on your entire shop, and that you're only getting the difference-plus-10% back on a few items, and even if they give you a £3 voucher, they make £10 from you on your next shop, they still win.
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