John Lewis Never Knowingly Undersold Question

Ste7en

Distinguished Member
Yeah, sounds about right unfortunately. They used to be great, but those days are long gone :(

When I pointed out that I could get the ZD9 across the road in Fenwick's they basically said "Get it there then". So I did. Never bought a big ticket item from JL since. Good riddance.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Their price match has always been fussy and their ‘never knowingly undersold’ has also been a massive fib.

Their price match. It has never been instant for me. I have always had to submit it and then wait a day or too for them to reply. Even then, say they are selling for £200 and you get a price match for £170, you still have to pay £200 and then you get a £30 refund a week or do later.

And once you have provided evidence of a lower price and they have accepted that do they reduce their advertise price - fo they heck - they continue selling at the full price - so absolutely knowingly undersold.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Ste7en

Distinguished Member
Funny you should say that. When I bought my ZD9 at Fenwick's they had a price match offer on. There were posters everywhere.

They refused to price match Richer Sounds. "We only price match John Lewis. They price match everyone else". So I asked why they didn't have a sign up "We price match John Lewis" and asked to speak to the manager. I got them to price match Richer Sounds... but I almost gave up and went to RS instead.

The best one was when my parents bought a DVD / HDD recorder combo from House of Fraser. Every few months they were getting partial refund cheques when it appeared elsewhere for less :)
 

Graham27

Well-known Member
I think, as with any other retailer, you can only judge them based on the person/s you speak to during your transaction. It seems from people’s comments that maybe the staff aren’t as good as they used to be in some places?

I’ve been lucky that pretty much everyone I’ve spoken to at JL has been spot on. Obviously they’re not always going to know the specific geeky technical details we’re looking for about every product they sell but if someone says “Sorry, I don’t know” and offers to find out or find someone else who does rather than flanneling then that’s fair enough to me.

I’ll be sad to see the back of ‘Never knowingly undersold’ as it’s saved me a few bob. They seem to be cutting costs in certain areas, such as increasing carriage charges. To be fair, they were too fair 😄 I’ve had a bed, sofa, armchair, sofa bed, multiple TVs and god knows what else shipped to Jersey with practically no carriage charged, and as they take the VAT off it was far cheaper than buying locally.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
They perma-lost me when I bought something using a JL/Waitrose gift card. When it had to be returned as faulty & they couldn't provide a replacement, all they would offer was online JL credit,
that could no longer be used at Waitrose. So a bit like the bad old days of retailers only offering a credit note while being unable to supply anything you want.

Only way round it was to "sell" my account together with the credit at a loss. I won't be creating a new one. :(

Never understood how the ASA allowed them to peddle the "Never knowingly undersold" lie.
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
Unfortunately John Lewis management failed to grasp the damage outsourcing their customer service was doing to the business as a whole.

You only need to look at their online reviews to see the damage done. This ultimately meant far less people would go to John Lewis online as they knew the customer service was crap.

They recently bought it back in house but it was too late. It's very easy to lose customers, it's incredibly hard to win them back.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
I think, as with any other retailer, you can only judge them based on the person/s you speak to during your transaction. It seems from people’s comments that maybe the staff aren’t as good as they used to be in some places?

Every issue that I have described has been down to their archaic and inflexible processes. I have never encountered a bad employee (excluding when Capita were doing their customer support), they have always been extremely polite and helpful but always seem to run foul of ”I understand the problem but the computer won’t let me”.

The way I described the price matching working and the fact that they never adjust prices after a price match is down to the system, mothing to do with employees.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Inked

Distinguished Member
The way I described the price matching working and the fact that they never adjust prices after a price match is down to the system, mothing to do with employees.

Cheers,

Nigel
Certainly not a perfect system (and I agree with many of your points regarding the failings of NKU) but to claim that shop floor prices NEVER change is factually incorrect.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Certainly not a perfect system (and I agree with many of your points regarding the failings of NKU) but to claim that shop floor prices NEVER change is factually incorrect.
Yes and no.

I know that they look at their main competitors and reduce their prices sometimes.

But I have never seen any evidence of them changing their catelogue price as a result of a single person doing a price match.

Agreed I can’t say never but I have done quite a few in my time and not once was the catalogue price changed, following my successful claim.

It‘s an utterly stupid claim to make if you think about it. There is a John Lewis at Home in my town, next to a Currys. I have always said “challenge me, at any time, I would be prepared to take a bet that I could go into Currys, find an item that is cheaper, take a photo, take it next door to JL and show the manager and if they didn’t reduce their floor price on the spot then they had failed in their slogan.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
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Inked

Distinguished Member
Yes and no.

I know that they look at their main competitors and reduce their prices sometimes.

But I have never seen any evidence of them changing their catelogue price as a result of a single person doing a price match.

Agreed I can’t say never but I have done quite a few in my time and not once was the catalogue price changed, following my successful claim.

Cheers,

Nigel
Whereas I worked for them for 14 years and saw price changes happen every single morning before the shop opened, often as a direct response to customers putting in a price match (I have filled in many an undersale request form for customers and myself over the years as well as actioning many undersale refunds). I also spent a small amount of my work time visiting (and often being asked to leave) other local retailers to check prices.

The fact that many price matches were done on a one off basis for customers was due to other factors meaning JL did not consider the overall offer to be comparable enough to warrant changing the shop floor price but would be put through as a single customer purchase.

National competitor prices were changed at head office level and would be applied across all stores, local offers were applied at branch level.
Each branch had its own undersale team to put through the matches, and ticketing team to come in before the store opened to action the price changes on the shop floor.

There can be hundreds of price changes each day, just because you don’t notice them doesn’t mean they don’t happen.

Also if a partner is buying goods, it is not possible to obtain a one off price match plus staff discount, you have to wait for the price to be lowered on the shelf first, so I can assure you we want price matches to go through.

As I said, not a perfect system and some customers will always feel dissatisfied with the way it works.
 

Inked

Distinguished Member
It‘s an utterly stupid claim to make if you think about it. There is a John Lewis at Home in my town, next to a Currys. I have always said “challenge me, at any time, I would be prepared to take a bet that I could go into Currys, find an item that is cheaper, take a photo, take it next door to JL and show the manager and if they didn’t reduce their floor price on the spot then they had failed in their slogan.

Just because you want to challenge them doesn’t mean they have to accept your demand. Process still has to be followed whether you agree with it or not.

(For the record, I’ve never been a fan of the slogan)
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Just because you want to challenge them doesn’t mean they have to accept your demand. Process still has to be followed whether you agree with it or not.

(For the record, I’ve never been a fan of the slogan)

No that is exactly that. Their slogan is stupid, always has been because it is an absolute. It is an impossible statement to make.

They don’t have to accept my price match, if I show them an item is being sold cheaper by one of their direct competitors as soon as that KNOW and don’t do anything about it they are KNOWINGLY undersold.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
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Inked

Distinguished Member
No that is exactly that. There slogan is stupid, always has been because it is an absolute. It is an impossible statement to make.

They don’t have to accept my price match, if I show them an item is being sold cheaper by one of their direct competitors as soon as that KNOW and don’t do anything about it they are KNOWINGLY understold.

Cheers,

Nigel
No, as soon as you show a single partner your price match request (and it is just that, a request to have a price matched - no matter how much you think you can demand), the company as a whole is not knowingly undersold (the team that agree price matches don’t have some magical telepathic link to shop floor partners).

They are doing something about it, they are filling in a form to get the price match confirmed for you (if they are refusing to do so, then you’d have a point).
Do you always just take everyone at their word without due diligence? Must be a nice world to live in where that is possible.

If of course, you’d rather not wait for the process to be completed, you can always make the choice to purchase where you say you’ve seen it cheaper, problem solved surely?

This is the main problem with the slogan, it gives people the impression they have the right to stand on the shop floor demanding immediate resolution because they have “seen” a price without the company verifying that it is true.

You seem to think being TOLD something by someone, is the same as KNOWING something. It couldn’t be further from the truth.
 

JCXDenton

Well-known Member
On a side-issue,I think everyone should appreciate that a quality store like John Lewis is still on some shopping malls/high-streets.Because,the news all year... it's hanging on by a thread!
 

nvingo

Distinguished Member
....They don’t have to accept my price match, if I show them an item is being sold cheaper by one of their direct competitors as soon as that KNOW and don’t do anything about it they are KNOWINGLY understold.

Cheers,

Nigel
We've just heard above, that competitor's prices are monitored and prices changed in response.
Remember that means both down and up. After all, they've no need to offer at the price competitors had an item yesterday.
If they go round price-matching everything during a day, they may have to revert everything to normal price the next morning, depending on competitors adjustments.
 

Graham27

Well-known Member
Every issue that I have described has been down to their archaic and inflexible processes. I have never encountered a bad employee (excluding when Capita were doing their customer support), they have always been extremely polite and helpful but always seem to run foul of ”I understand the problem but the computer won’t let me”.

The way I described the price matching working and the fact that they never adjust prices after a price match is down to the system, mothing to do with employees.

Cheers,

Nigel
I wasn’t just referring to your experiences, nheather, more the comments on the thread in general. That said, I’ve never had a problem with their processes personally. I can see why they are the way they are.

They’ve always worked to my advantage anyway. I bought a bargain rear pro TV from them years ago due to the fact that someone else on the forum got a price match and his request had been logged so they were able to grant mine straight away (Plus a free DVD/HDD recorder and extended warranties all round).

I’ve worked in retail for decades, I know it’s impossible to to please all of the people all of the time. But, to me, they’re still the best on the high st by a mile and I’m not going to get upset when they get things wrong as I’ve never been in a situation where they haven’t made things right in the end.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
They’ve always worked to my advantage anyway. I bought a bargain rear pro TV from them years ago due to the fact that someone else on the forum got a price match and his request had been logged so they were able to grant mine straight away.

It may not sound like it but in general I like JL and will choose to buy from them if I can.

I was simply saying is that their slogan has always been a fib. Not saying that they won’t price match if asked but that the slogan is a fib.

Take your example - your mate got a price match - okay you got your price match - but you shouldn’t have asked for it if the slogan is trueful.

What would have happened if you had not asked for a price match - they would have charged you full price. Even though they knew full well it was cheaper else where because of the price match your mate had done. If they had sold it to you at full price they would knowingly been undersold - not saying that is the wrong way to do business but it goes against their slogan.

So in summary, don’t have a problem with JL, they always do the right thing even if you have to push harder sometimes. Don’t have a problem with their price-match, it is a little awkward but it works out in the end. It is only that nonsense slogan that I have problem with.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Or "If if it cheaper somewhere else do us all a favour and buy it there. Unless you want our service and warranty, in which pay our price."
 

nvingo

Distinguished Member
But they often aren't.
Some items (very few) that I've sought to buy, came up JS at joint lowest price. So with their reputation for warranty and service (and longevity) I've chosen to buy from them over the alternative.
Appreciating their position is currently as fragile as any other retail company.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
But they often aren't.
Some items (very few) that I've sought to buy, came up JS at joint lowest price. So with their reputation for warranty and service (and longevity) I've chosen to buy from them over the alternative.
Appreciating their position is currently as fragile as any other retail company.

Agree, I don’t think they are over-priced at all. They are usually competitive, sometimes cheaper but also sometimes more expensive. But according to their stupid slogan, the latter should never be the case, not after the very first person has pointed it out to them.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Graham27

Well-known Member
I was simply saying is that their slogan has always been a fib. Not saying that they won’t price match if asked but that the slogan is a fib.

Take your example - your mate got a price match - okay you got your price match - but you shouldn’t have asked for it if the slogan is trueful.

What would have happened if you had not asked for a price match - they would have charged you full price. Even though they knew full well it was cheaper else where because of the price match your mate had done. If they had sold it to you at full price they would knowingly been undersold - not saying that is the wrong way to do business but it goes against their slogan.

So in summary, don’t have a problem with JL, they always do the right thing even if you have to push harder sometimes. Don’t have a problem with their price-match, it is a little awkward but it works out in the end. It is only that nonsense slogan that I have problem with.
I get what you’re saying and agree to a point, but ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ is, to me, a marketing slogan like ‘The Customer Is Always Right’ which Selfridges and other stores used for years. You couldn’t take that literally either.

My price match wasn’t due to a mate, just a member on here. As Inked explained, they have a process they go through. They were going through that process, hence why they were able to give me the match. When I went in to the store the TV on display was at the reduced price of £1499.

The Sony Centre down the road also had a ‘price promise’ but were still £2399. Wouldn’t match £1499. Other people might have got annoyed by that, but I knew they couldn’t afford to, so it was fair enough.
 

mikes48

Distinguished Member
”I understand the problem but the computer won’t let me”

aka Spenlow and Jorkins, still alive and kicking ;)

Anyway, Mrs S bought an iPad from JL about a year ago, competitive price, 2 year guarantee, delivered to our local Waitrose for pick-up. Very happy all round.

The fingerprint reader recently stopped responding. She did all the diagnostics, no joy and we took it in to JL at the Trafford Centre.

That was two weeks ago. This morning a brand new iPad (identical model, different serial no.) was delivered to the door.

I don't mind them having out-dated and possibly dodgy strap-lines when they give service like this - that's what really matters IMHO:thumbsup: .
 

Steve N

Distinguished Member
Unfortunately John Lewis management failed to grasp the damage outsourcing their customer service was doing to the business as a whole.
Absolutely agree.
I had a nightmare trying to return a faulty £3,500 mattress the day after it was delivered.
They eventually agreed to send out an assessor from some dodgy company I googled. I found out this company was also used by Ikea and the like, and had a reputation for lying to customers they visited by saying they had a case, then putting in a report saying they hadn't.
A guy called Karl kept coming up on posts as the worst for this.
I then found I was getting this Karl guy.
I secretly recorded him as he inspected the mattress and agreed it was faulty and that he would tell J Lewis that. I even got him to repeat it a couple of times.
Two days later Lewis' rang me to say his report was in and said the product was fine.
I eventually got someone senior to speak to and told him about the recording.
He still tried to fob me off.
I had to threaten to take the matter to the Small Claims Court and/or go through the credit card claims system. He said he would look into the complaint again. The next day someone called me back to say they would accept the product back. B*****ds
That was after about 6 weeks of worry and me tearing away like a terrier at them.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
You seem to think being TOLD something by someone, is the same as KNOWING something. It couldn’t be further from the truth.

Never said that, those are words of your own invention. I said that even when presented with the evidence, that they have then followed up, have accepted and agreed to price-match they still continue to sell to others at the full price - it is that which I said was knowingly being undersold.

I did say that in my town, John Lewis at Home and Currys are next to each other and suggested that at any point in time I would be able to find something that was being sold cheaper 50 yards away. This wouldn’t simply telling the manager, it would be showing photographic and website evidence and if they wanted further evidence they could see for themselves - less than a minute walk away.

Once again, I’ll restate, I do like JL and will buy from them whenever I can. I often find I don’t have to use their price match but when I do it works, if a little clunky. Don’t like the slogan though, because whenever I have price matched I have seen that it is an out and out lie.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

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