Its bordering on criminal...misleading the public

dodgydaz

Active Member
How the DSG group are allowed to do this is beyond me.....I thought misleading consumers was an offence.

I was recently asked by a non tech savvy friend a question regarding laptops and what to look for. Now instead of just sprouting the basic stuff - Plenty of RAM, HardDrive size etc, I thought I would give her the benefit of my experience and wrote a comprehensive, yet non technical couple of pages. These just described in laymons terms, what to look for etc... anyway. I then decided to do a bit of searching on the internet, seeing as my friend did not now have that luxury - her pc broke, hence the questions asking about new ones.

Well I searched the usually places.....Comet, John Lewis, etc...and then decided to look at the sites belonging to DSG. A few models on the PCWorld website looked pretty good. I wrote down the details and prices, then looked on Currys. Same models, different prices. Looked on Dixons. Again, the same models and different prices again. In Currys, the "Internet" prices were the same as the shop prices in Dixons and vice versa for other models.

Now, I know from experience that if you have the internet price of the device you are after and go into the store, they usually match the price. However, how many of the general public actually do this and know that you can do this?

I also know this is not a new thing. Its just really cheesed me off when I was trying to help a friend and was constantly seeing different prices for the same thing. Where I live PCWorld and Currys are 2 minutes walk away from each other so I dont understand their reasoning for this.

Today, a friend at work announced that the LCD TV he had to have taken in for repair was not repairable. He had been given a £500 credit note to spend in Currys as his model had been discontinued. So before he went, we decided to look on the net and see what the "internet" prices were. In the end, he saw a Samsung 32inch, which on the website was £559. Noting down the model number, we went to the store, saw the model and ask a staff member to match it. Originally he agreed to after looking on the web himself. However when we went to pay, we had to wait about 15 minutes as the model number on the internet was slightly different to the one in the shop. They disputed that the model number we gave them was out of stock, and would not be arriving anytime soon at their store or others nearby. What a crock of ****. We argued that even the original staff member did not realise that the model on the Internet was "different". Eventually after the manager came and we argued a bit more, he agreed to sell the model at the censtead of the £599 that they said it was on the net.
Sorry to go on, but it seems to me that they deliberately try to confuse the customer with model numbers, different prices in different stores and internet prices etc. Why cant they have one price for each model, no matter if you get it in the store or order it online ?
I saw a dvd recorder in there for over 200 quid, that I had bought for £169 at Richersounds a couple of weeks ago. The crap on the Currys stickers said that this dvdr had been reduced by £100 for Easter etc.

And I know this type of pricing is the same for other shops like DFS etc. Why do they think we are all so stupid as to believe that if we buy now, we will be saving over £1000 on some new leather sofa. Yet if you go into the same shop in a few weeks time, the exact same sofa will still be at the same price but with no fancy stickers stating that its half price or reduced by x amount of pounds.

Can the consumer not demand that these big companies stop trying to deceive us with these marketing ploys. Is a letter to Watchdog in order to get the ball rolling....
 

dodgydaz

Active Member
Quick example -

Currys website

Compaq C504EA
Web Exclusive
£429.99
Offer not available in-store

Dixons website

Compaq C504EA
£429.99

PCWorld Website

Compaq C504EA
£399

Simple example just to illustrate my point...

I see what you are saying Steather but I hope you understand my grievance with this kind of thing.
 

Jammyb

Well-known Member
The fact that they have their own model numbers for TV's etc has always been very annoying as it makes it hard to compare prices and reviews etc. Apart from that I think the other stuff you mention is fair game.

Some people have to be ripped off so that some of us can get some bargains every now and then. No one forces you to shop there, if you don't like their practises then stay away, it's that simple.
 

KeithO

Active Member
Caveat emptor. It's something shops have always done. perhaps more visible now with the internet etc, and buyers are a bit more savvy, but nothing new.

A long time ago I used to have a Saturday job working for Trueform Shoes. Trueform were part of the British Shoe Corporation, that also included Curtess, Dolcis, Manfield, Saxone and Lilley & Skinner. All of these chains were in almost every hight street at the time, and probably very few consumers knew they were actually part of the same company.

BSC had all these chains ranked according to how 'up market' the customer view them...Lilley & Skinner probably highest, then Dolcis, Curtess, Trueform and then Manfield at the bottom.

New show ranges were always introduced in Lilley & Skinner, at premium prices. After a while (or sooner if they didn't sell) they were packed up, and sent onto the Dolcis chain, to be sold at a lower price. There again they lasted a few months, then were shipped off to Curtess. Eventually they ended up in Manfield shops at rock bottom prices. Exactly the same shoes from the same manufacturer.

Very occasionally a show range would be moving down the line, then for some reason it suddenylu became fashionable again. Immediately all Trueform shops (or wherever it had reached by then) would be told to pack them up and send them back off to Lilley & Skinner, where their price would double or even treble.

Personally I think it's much better today than the old 'Manufacturers Recommended Price' days where there was no competition at all. Now the savvy buyer can get a good deal. BUT, it does require a bit of effort to search out the deals and get the best bargain you can.
 

dodgydaz

Active Member
if you don't like their practises then stay away, it's that simple.

I have to disagree there Im afraid. The fact is, the vast majority of consumers will always shop at these kinds of places for various reasons - convenience, parking, near to other shops (to keep the other half happy) etc...

Personally, I avoid these shops like the plague and will generally go to John Lewis, RicherSounds, Sevenoaks and other shops.

However, Currys, PCWorld etc are household names that most people would see as their first port of call when deciding on a new TV, DVD, PC etc.
Its this reason alone that these companies should do the right thing by their customers and give them honest consistant prices whichever shop the consumer chooses to visit.
 

stealther

Active Member
Quick example -


I see what you are saying Steather but I hope you understand my grievance with this kind of thing.

Of course!

I dont buy anything at all from the dixon group if I can help it.:)

I would have a look at some of the supermarket prices for her some decent machines to be had at this price level.
 

Jammyb

Well-known Member
I have to disagree there Im afraid. The fact is, the vast majority of consumers will always shop at these kinds of places for various reasons - convenience, parking, near to other shops (to keep the other half happy) etc...

That's like saying that you don't have any choice but to eat at McDonalds. If you can't be bothered to go elsewhere due to lazyness then you lose your right to complain in my opinion.
 

mrtbag

Well-known Member
Quick example -

Currys website

Compaq C504EA
Web Exclusive
£429.99
Offer not available in-store

Dixons website

Compaq C504EA
£429.99

PCWorld Website

Compaq C504EA
£399

Simple example just to illustrate my point...

It's the F502EA that's 399.99. The C504 is 429.99 on all 3 sites!!
 

eFGee

Active Member
I have to disagree there Im afraid. The fact is, the vast majority of consumers will always shop at these kinds of places for various reasons - convenience, parking, near to other shops (to keep the other half happy) etc...

Personally, I avoid these shops like the plague and will generally go to John Lewis, RicherSounds, Sevenoaks and other shops.

However, Currys, PCWorld etc are household names that most people would see as their first port of call when deciding on a new TV, DVD, PC etc.
Its this reason alone that these companies should do the right thing by their customers and give them honest consistant prices whichever shop the consumer chooses to visit.

Do the right thing?

Or perhaps you would you prefer they just give it to you at cost?

Retailers have always done it and always will. It's obvious they want to make as much profit as they can for their product, just as you would do in the same situation. By changing details to try and prevent comparisons is one way of doing it. And believe it or not, profit is not a dirty word and without it, no retailer will be able to contiue.

And I don't want to burst your bubble, and I don't know about the others you've named, but even the "great" John Lewis do it.
 

dodgydaz

Active Member
Sorry - said it was a quick example.

PCworld - Advent QC430 - £444.99

Dixons - Advent QC430 - £429.99

Not a lot of difference but still enough...
 

Sonic67

Banned
It might be down to the desire to have a 'sale'. For a sale to be genuine a product has to be offered at a full price before hand to cut the price later. I imagine the Dixons group take it in turns offering goods at full price so for Easter they can then claim sale prices to get you in. All along they had probably worked out that they could sell at the reduced price and still make money.

Offering a sale grabs the attention. Look at DFS etc who are always having a sale. A sofa will be at some stores for a few months and then reduced for a while. Then it's a different sofas turn.

In supermarkets goods are constantly offered at sale prices and then constantly raised again quietly.

"Always cutting prices" No you're not. You are quietly raising them too. Otherwise I'd hang on till your prices arrived at zero then. What you are doing is you might drop the price on 500 goods but also raise it on 500 others. Clever software keeps track of just what sells and what can be cut.

Supermarkets even do data mining that looks for hidden trends. For instance if you buy a pack of pampers and a six pack of beer you are probably a guy who has called in to get some shopping on the way home because your wife asked you to and while you were there decided to get some beer as well. Software looks for stuff like this to increase sales on goods you didn't go in there for.

Beware of other tricks. People are more likely to buy if there is a time limit imposed. How many times do you see "last few days"? It's a prompt to get you to buy now or you will miss out. The reality with electrical goods is the price is always falling anyway. I bought a Dell laptop with the offer that it was the last few days. When the time ran out the price went down!

QVC has a clock counting down to buy goods. There's no reason. Providing you remember the item number you can order later providing they are still in stock. The timer reallly refers to how long you have to listen to them talk on a product before the next one's up.
 

dodgydaz

Active Member
That's like saying that you don't have any choice but to eat at McDonalds. If you can't be bothered to go elsewhere due to lazyness then you lose your right to complain in my opinion.

Thats my point, what choice does the typical consumer have when it comes to buying electrical equipment?
I'll admit, nowadays you can get dvd recorders, tv's and the likes from supermarkets, but the "specialised" shops that most people will go to to purchases like this, you can count on one hand. - Currys, Comet, John Lewis (yes, I do know they alter their prices to suit, so my bubbles not been burst), Argos....

99% of the time, its not laziness when people go to these shops, its because they do not have much of a choice.
 

mrtbag

Well-known Member
Sorry - said it was a quick example.

PCworld - Advent QC430 - £444.99

Dixons - Advent QC430 - £429.99

Not a lot of difference but still enough...

As others have already said, it's always has been like this. Shop around for the best deal. If evrybody sold at the same price, there wouldn't be any competition. Even though they are all owned by the same group plc. Currys, dixons and PC World are all seperate trading entities.

THe QC430 is in Dixons Easter sale, hence the £20 off.
 

Fusewire

Active Member
Personally I don't see the problem shops have always charge different amounts, you get regional variations too.

The main thing is that you have a choice not to shop there if you don't want to.
 

Sonic67

Banned
You should also remember some people prefer certain stores for various reasons. PC World is large and brightly lit. It's a nice shopping experience. Richer Sounds is small and claustrophic with boxes often piled up. Some people don't care, some people are snobby over their choice of shop.

If I wanted a loaf of bread I could go to Kwik Save but I prefer Sainsburys even though I know it's the same bread and I could save a few pence.
 

Jammyb

Well-known Member
No sainsburys bread is definitely nicer. They have a bakery instore :thumbsup:

I go to Kwiksave because I enjoy watching people hit their kids in public.

I'm still really not sure what the OP's point is? That the price in Currys should be the same as PC World? One is slightly more expensive than the other? In the grand scheme of ripoffs in this world they barely register. It's not like a plumber charging an old lady £500 to change a washer.

You can argue and pricematch anywhere, compare with Comet, Staples, Argos wherever. Or just walk in and pay the price on the sticker. It's entirely your choice at the end of the day. But if you're buying a laptop or an LCD then hopefully you've not got kids starving at home because the Axis of Evil has ripped you off.
 

Sonic67

Banned
I'm still really not sure what the OP's point is? That the price in Currys should be the same as PC World?

It might be that Currys and PC World are both part of the Dixons group so are the same store. I thought the reason for a difference is they are taking it in turns between them to offer different individual goods for sale.
 

Jenn

Distinguished Member
Because they are part of the same group doesn't always mean they use the same stock and believe it or not stock price varies.

Two different shops are perfectly entitled to sell at different prices regardless of who the head company is. They are still two different companies with different accounts etc. If Dixon goes bust, Currys won't close down.
Price variation can come from the fact that one has a heavier net presence (less cost), or one is more specialised in something (more stock of one type of item etc.), another one is targeted at maybe more upmarket clients so they have different staff etc.

I don't even find it unfair to have lower prices online than in shops for the same company. The online buyer costs less than the shopper so he benefits from the having to wait a bit longer.
 

Pat_C

Well-known Member
Why cant they have one price for each model, no matter if you get it in the store or order it online ?
Their costs are lower if you buy online, and it is right to reflect that in the selling price.

As for your other points, retailers are there to make as much money as possible from selling things. It's down to the consumer to shop around and find the best deal available at that time, balancing the price with other factors such as the returns policy, after sales service etc. Consumers who choose not to bother doing so have to accept that they may pay more than they need to.

I never understand people buying expensive items without doing a bit of research into the available products and selling prices - which for most of us has never been easier than it is today.

And I know this type of pricing is the same for other shops like DFS etc. Why do they think we are all so stupid as to believe that if we buy now, we will be saving over £1000 on some new leather sofa. Yet if you go into the same shop in a few weeks time, the exact same sofa will still be at the same price but with no fancy stickers stating that its half price or reduced by x amount of pounds.

These places do actually put the prices up now and again, just so they can legally say they have been reduced from a previous selling price. But I know from experience (although not from DFS) that they will sell at the lower 'sale' price even when there is no sale on, and the full price is shown. I found this out when I told the salesman that I'd come back on Boxing Day when the next sale started, and turned to walk away.

Can the consumer not demand that these big companies stop trying to deceive us with these marketing ploys.
They can demand what they like but it isn't going to happen. But there is quite an overlap between marketing and deception.
 

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