The giant supermarket chain Tesco has recently been fined a whopping £300,000 for reportedly misleading customers after one shopper complained about a promotion for the national strawberry price.
The case was brought by the Birmingham City Council and was related to the cost of British strawberries sold at one of the Tescos in the city. The complainant protested that the 400 g punnets were marked up at £1.99 and labelled as half price, making the original price as £3.99 and it showed as crossed out in the promotion.
The woman had to ask for a trading standards investigation because she said she did not see the original price and doubted that it was misleading and excessive. The Tesco company admitted to a number of offences violating Consumer Protection for Unfair Regulations Act of 2008, this was after they failed to stop the council from bringing the case to a national level.
Trading Standards reported to the court that the offer at Tesco (£1.99) did not meet the rules they set as the promo ran for 14 weeks, while the strawberries were sold at £3.99 for a shorter period. The case also involved a similar promotion when Tesco offered a pot of cream as an inclusion of a discount.
Birmingham City Council strongly stated that both promotions were presented in a misleading manner or would more likely deceive an average consumer. The judge resolved that Tesco’s turnover as excessive but concurred that although the supermarket giant had breached the trust of its customers, it was not a deliberate misrepresentation or intention to mislead.
In a statement, Tesco sincerely apologised for the mistake that was made in 2011 summer. The supermarket added that they sell more than 40,000 products in their stores and they run thousands on special offers and discounts at any given time, and one mistake should not happen. To ensure that such thing does not happen again, Tesco staff had to undergo additional training on their responsibilities regarding pricing guidelines adherence.