Tesco has been fined £300,000 for misleading the public on a so-called 'half price' offer on strawberries.
It is after a shopper complained about prices in their local store in Birmingham. The City Council's trading standards department launched the case, which was then widened to other stores across the country. Chris Halpin reports.
We apologise sincerely for this mistake, which was made in the summer of 2011. We sell over 40,000 products in our stores, with thousands on promotion at any one time, but even one mistake is one too many.
Since then, to make sure this doesn’t happen again we have given colleagues additional training and reminded them of their responsibilities to ensure we always adhere to the guidelines on pricing.
This is not only a victory for Birmingham customers, it also has wider benefits for all consumers across the country.
It was the council’s case, confirmed by Tesco’s guilty pleas today, that this was a misleading offer which deceived the purchasers of strawberries over many weeks during the summer of 2011.
Food pricing, presentation and the depiction of promotional practices is a crucial issue for retailers, and in turn, consumers. We are happy to work with Trading Standards departments up and down the country to help protect customers.
– Head of Trading Standards for Birmingham City Council, Sajeela Naseer
Birmingham City Council (BCC) have taken Tesco to court over offences relating to Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regs.
The case relates to the misleading price of 400g British strawberries in 2011 which were marked as 'half price' when the previous prices had only been charged for a limited time.
The case concerns Tesco Superstore Coventry Road, Birmingham and Tesco stores nationally.
At a previous hearing, Tesco argued BCC did not have the jurisdiction to proceed outside of Birmingham. The hearing found in favour of BCC, who argued that Birmingham residents who shop outside of the city would still be affected by the offer.