LBC's trading standards team has prosecuted Sainsbury's for overcharging
customers on supposed 'special offers'.
noticed that items offering special discounts such as 'Buy one get the
second half-price' and 'Buy three, save£1' at various Sainsbury's Local
stores weren't being given.
A month after notifying Sainsbury's the problem had still not been
resolved. Mr Morris then spent several weeks visiting all six Sainsbury's
Local stores in Lambeth, purchasing various 'special offer' items. Problems
were found at every store, with overcharging occurring on at least 31
On one occasion 10 out of 11 items purchased resulted in the officer
being overcharged, adding around 25% to the final bill. For example a
honeydew melon supposedly reduced in price from£1.79 to£1.29 was instead
charged at£1.95 at the checkout. On another occasion raspberries were
marked as '£1.49 or two for£2.50', but at the checkout£2.65 was charged
for just one item. The strangest incident was when a checkout assistant
asked Mr Morris to calculate the discounts, as she was 'no good at maths.'
On 2 June at Camberwell Green magistrates court Sainsbury's pleaded
guilty to 10 offences under the Consumer Protection Act for giving
misleading price indications. Sainsbury's were ordered to pay a total of
£19,441 in fines and costs, to be paid within 14 days. The error occurred
due to packaging marked for Sainsbury's Superstores being sold at
Sainsbury's Local stores. The 'special offer' price needed to be manually
Mr Morris said: 'I'm very pleased with the result. It took a long
time to put the case together but hopefully it will stop problems like this
in the future. It's good to see the court appreciates the serious nature of
these offences and handed out appropriate penalties - and it's also a
reminder to shoppers to check their receipts together with their change.'