John Lewis Never Knowingly Undersold Question

DIYlady

Distinguished Member
Their slogan originated in different times when competition was less fierce and they were only competing against a handful of local stores. Retailers did not deliver all over the country and individuals tended to shop closer to home.

When internet selling first took off we were explicitly told JLP would only match bricks and mortar stores within an x mile radius. From our own experience this was extended but they were still unwilling to match internet only prices.

In recent years, I noticed some small print appear on the in store signs alongside the slogan: “conditions apply”; presumably to comply with advertising standards.

Their real issue has been, in my opinion, that they have been too slow to change. Once internet retailers took off, JLP had no real chance of competing purely on price. At that point they had a reputation for excellent service and that should have been their main focus. Instead they have let their service slip; they’re still decent, but that’s no longer enough. Somehow they need to revive the reputation for excellence or they will go the way of all High Street department stores.
 

Inked

Distinguished Member
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.

Cheers,

Nigel

And I’ve stated, that isn’t how it works.
Telling them that they can walk 50 yards to confirm it, or showing them photo evidence (shops don’t match website prices) is still not following the necessary procedure for a price match.

A manager is not about to go out to the neighbouring shop every time someone comes in wanting a price match.

If you’d come in and told me to go next door to Currys or while I’m in the middle of trying to serve on a busy Saturday, I’d have (politely) offered you the options of either having the undersale form filled (and either purchasing with a later refund of the difference, or waiting for the price match before buying) or alternatively going next door to Curry’s to purchase if you’d prefer.

As for not lowering the price, it has already been explained that there are multiple reasons that it may not be changed on the shop floor.
But just because it hasn’t happened when you’ve had a price match, doesn’t mean it never happens.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
And I’ve stated, that isn’t how it works.
Telling them that they can walk 50 yards to confirm it, or showing them photo evidence (shops don’t match website prices) is still not following the necessary procedure for a price match.

A manager is not about to go out to the neighbouring shop every time someone comes in wanting a price match.

I appreciate that but you still aren’t listening to me.

I said the thing about Currys being next door as an extreme aside.

But my main statement is that every time I have done a proper match, filled out their online form, provided the evidence (such as website link), waited a day or two for them to agree and come back with instructions, they have indeed matched the price for me but they haven’t changed the price for everyone else. So anyone else buying one will get charged full price unless, they too, do a price match. That is knowingly being undersold.

Multiply it by the 1000s of people making successful price match claims means that they are knowingly being undersold every day of the year.

Again, no issue with John Lewis, I like them a lot, but their slogan is rubbish. As @DIYlady says it is a slogan from a different era, when everyone shopped locally in store, where price matches were less common, needed less and therefore, manageable. The slogan ceased to be viable many years ago.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

dmpzsn

Distinguished Member
Why would they change their price, they've set their rrp and it's up to the customer to provide evidence that they can obtain the product somewhere else cheaper.

They will then honour that price, they've kept their promise to you as their customer.

In short the onus is on you to prove you can buy cheaper inline with their terms and conditions.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Why would they change their price, they've set their rrp and it's up to the customer to provide evidence that they can obtain the product somewhere else cheaper.

I would agree that makes perfect business sense but it is not what they claim in their slogan.

NEVER knowingly undersold.

What part of NEVER are you failing to grasp.

I keep saying that I like JL, and I understand that it would not make sound business sense to change prices just because one person has price matched. The problem is that the ABSOLUTE wording of their slogan means that if they don’t change their prices then the words of the slogan are untrue.

All I have been saying is that the slogan is stupid, it might have worked in the 20th century but in the 21st century it became untenable. They should have dropped it or changed the wording years ago.

Now if there slogan was “rarely knowingly undersold” I wouldn’t have the issue. The trouble with worlds like ALL, 100%, ALWAYS and NEVER is that it only takes one failure to render the statement untrue.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
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imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Doesn't John Lewis have very favorable service terms like warranty? Are these taken into account when checking if a price match has been made standard? Eg if Currys is £50 cheaper but with a one year warranty instead of 3/5 years, then it's not the same product.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Doesn't John Lewis have very favorable service terms like warranty? Are these taken into account when checking if a price match has been made standard? Eg if Currys is £50 cheaper but with a one year warranty instead of 3/5 years, then it's not the same product.

No they are not, but I agree they should be. Another failure by JL to be honest. If I were a JL manager if someone came to me with a price match request for a TV at Currys I would stand my ground pointing out that TVs sold by JL have a 5 year warranty.

For the majority of things though, the JL warranty is no different to tyat of other retailers.

Service level is harder to put a differentiating price on though - I would say that drives reputation rather than price. I also think it is a very individual experience. For one it only comes into play if something goes wrong so for the vast majority of times it is irrelevant. And when there is a need to use it, the service you get can depend on how you present the issue. On the whole I would accept that JL customer service is better than Currys customer service but in reality I have experienced more problems with JL than with Currys - but you need to caveat that with I have bought more from John Lewis and most of the stuff that I have bought from Currys is electronics that just works for years. But I’ll also add that every time I have had an issue with something I bought from Currys I never experienced difficulty getting it resolved.

So extended warranty, yes I think JL should put a value on it and only match against direct equivalents. But I don’t think they could put a price on service level.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
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imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
No they are not, but I agree they should be. Another failure by JL to be honest. If I were a JL manager if someone came to me with a price match request for a TV at Currys I would stand my ground pointing out that TVs sold by JL have a 5 year warranty.

For the majority of things though, the JL warranty is no different to tyat of other retailers.

Service level is harder to put a differentiating price on though - I would say that drives reputation rather than price. I also think it is a very individual experience. For one it only comes into play if something goes wrong so for the vast majority of times it is irrelevant. And when there is a need to use it, the service you get can depend on how you present the issue. On the whole I would accept that JL customer service is better than Currys customer service but in reality I have experience more problems with JL than with Currys - but you need to caveat that with I have bought more from John Lewis and most of the stuff that I have bought from Currys is electronics that just works. But I’ll also add that every time I have had an issue with something I bought from Currys I never experienced difficulty getting it resolved.

So extended warranty, yes I think JL should put a value on it and only match against direct equivalents. But I don’t think they could put a price on service level.

Cheers,

Nigel

So doesn't that explain why the prices aren't updated then? They will give an individual a price match but they aren't obligated to lower their overall price if their own product is better.
 

dmpzsn

Distinguished Member
@nheather, I can see your point and what your saying. You've pointed out a price difference and they've accepted it.

I'd guess if only one person points it out then they're going to stay as they are, also the price they're matching could be a deal price or sale price. We don't know all the details.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
I'd guess if only one person points it out then they're going to stay as they are, also the price they're matching could be a deal price or sale price. We don't know all the details.

Agreed and it would be silly to run a business like that, but the problem is the absolute word NEVER - it’s a silly word to use because it is absolute so it means that if there is just one exception it is not true - doesn’t matter if it is a sale or deal price - and they do match those.

Any I don’t think we are ever go to agree because fundamentally we appear to have different understandings of the word NEVER - I think it means ‘not at all‘ whereas you think it means ‘sometimes‘.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
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Inked

Distinguished Member
Agreed and it would be silly to run a business like that, but the problem is the absolute word NEVER - it’s a silly word to use because it is absolute so it means that if there is just one exception it is not true - doesn’t matter if it is a sale or deal price - and they do match those.

Any I don’t think we are ever go to agree because fundamentally we appear to have different understandings of the word NEVER - I think it means ‘not at all‘ whereas you think it means ‘sometimes‘.

Cheers,

Nigel
I’ll accept your definition of NEVER when you do the same.

You’ve stated multiple time that they don’t lower the shelf edge prices - they do
Just because it hasn’t happened when you’ve price matched, doesn’t mean they NEVER do.

Price changes happen on the shop floor as long as certain criteria are met. (In the past, length of warranty was indeed one of the criteria for a price match, and would certainly be taken into account.)

Full details of the undersale policy are available here for anyone to see
 

IronGiant

Moderator
It's a slogan, not a T&C, and of course it's going to have small print attached. Move along, nothing to see here :)
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
I’ll accept your definition of NEVER when you do the same.

You’ve stated multiple time that they don’t lower the shelf edge prices - they do
Just because it hasn’t happened when you’ve price matched, doesn’t mean they NEVER do.

Price changes happen on the shop floor as long as certain criteria are met. (In the past, length of warranty was indeed one of the criteria for a price match, and would certainly be taken into account.)

Full details of the undersale policy are available here for anyone to see
Again, I'm being misrepresented. At no point have I said that they never adjust their prices. In fact I believe I have even accepted that they do have a price matching procedures where they regularly look at the prices of direct competitors and adjust their prices accordingly - check my posts carefully and you will see that I have said that at least once.

Also I have not said that they NEVER adjust prices off the back if a price match just that they don't always. I would speculate that they rarely do but I don't have all their data so I can't say that for sure.

But what I can be certain of is that in all the price matches I have done, no more than 10, they have never amended the advertised price to reflect my successful claim.

But that is not the same as me saying that they never adjust prices - I have never said that.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
But what I can be certain of is that in all the price matches I have done, no more than 10, they have never amended the advertised price to reflect my successful claim.

Did the other competitor always match the service level and have stock subsequently?
 

Inked

Distinguished Member
Again, I'm being misrepresented. At no point have I said that they never adjust their prices. In fact I believe I have even accepted that they do have a price matching procedures where they regularly look at the prices of direct competitors and adjust their prices accordingly - check my posts carefully and you will see that I have said that at least once.

Also I have not said that they NEVER adjust prices off the back if a price match just that they don't always. I would speculate that they rarely do but I don't have all their data so I can't say that for sure.

But what I can be certain of is that in all the price matches I have done, no more than 10, they have never amended the advertised price to reflect my successful claim.

But that is not the same as me saying that they never adjust prices - I have never said that.

Cheers,

Nigel

Certainly comes across that you believe they never change prices when a customer points out an undersale.

as you say once they have notified then they continue to sell at the higher price - their slogan should be 'Often Knowingly Undersold".


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.


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

nheather

Distinguished Member
Certainly comes across that you believe they never change prices when a customer points out an undersale.
Again you are selectively quoting. You clearly did a lot of work, so must have deliberately omitted the points where I accepted that they do adjust their prices.

How about this one

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.

I clearly say that I accept that they look at their main competitors. I said that they have never changed the price following one of my successful claim. But I also say that I agree that I can’t say that they never change after successful price matches.


So just to be clear

  1. Yes I believe that they do look at their direct competition and adjust their prices accordingly.
  2. They have never adjusted their advertised price after any of my successful claims.
  3. I can’t say that they never change their prices after a successful claim, I don’t have access to their database. If I were to speculate I would guess that more often than not they don’t adjust their advertised prices after successful claims by individuals, but this is just speculation.
  4. The issue I have is with the phrase ‘NEVER knowingly undersold‘. The word NEVER is an absolute, it means not at all, which means if on just one occasion they failed to adjust prices after a successful claim then their promise fails.
Cheers,

Nigel
 

Inked

Distinguished Member
Again you are selectively quoting. You clearly did a lot of work, so must have deliberately omitted the points where I accepted that they do adjust their prices.

How about this one



I clearly say that I accept that they look at their main competitors. I said that they have never changed the price following one of my successful claim. But I also say that I agree that I can’t say that they never change after successful price matches.


So just to be clear

  1. Yes I believe that they do look at their direct competition and adjust their prices accordingly.
  2. They have never adjusted their advertised price after any of my successful claims.
  3. I can’t say that they never change their prices after a successful claim, I don’t have access to their database. If I were to speculate I would guess that more often than not they don’t adjust their advertised prices after successful claims by individuals, but this is just speculation.
  4. The issue I have is with the phrase ‘NEVER knowingly undersold‘. The word NEVER is an absolute, it means not at all, which means if on just one occasion they failed to adjust prices after a successful claim then their promise fails.
Cheers,

Nigel

I was specifically commenting on your assertion that they never lower their shelf prices for customer undersales.
I selected the specific quotes as they were the pertinent points and to keep my post shorter.

I never said nor implied that you didn’t believe they lowered shelf prices against national competitors.

The price promise only fails for you as you don’t seem to want to accept that it is a slogan and in the process for a price match has a specific set of terms and conditions attached.

If I had such a bee in my bonnet about a company’s practices, I’d just shop elsewhere (maybe the place you keep seeing things cheaper, give them the business instead?)

As I believe we’ve had this conversation a number of times over the years and will never find a common ground I’m out.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
I was specifically commenting on your assertion that they never lower their shelf prices for customer undersales.
I selected the specific quotes as they were the pertinent points and to keep my post shorter.

I never said nor implied that you didn’t believe they lowered shelf prices against national competitors.

The price promise only fails for you as you don’t seem to want to accept that it is a slogan and in the process for a price match has a specific set of terms and conditions attached.

If I had such a bee in my bonnet about a company’s practices, I’d just shop elsewhere (maybe the place you keep seeing things cheaper, give them the business instead?)

As I believe we’ve had this conversation a number of times over the years and will never find a common ground I’m out.

Okay I'm fed up with this. I have said repeatedly that I like JL and I shop there when I can. All I have said that the slogan is not true because I have evidence that they don't always reduce their prices after a successful claim. No one has come forward and said that they ALWAYS adjust their prices after a claim, let alone provided anecdotal evidance to that fact.

All I have been saying is as they don't ALWAYS adjust their prices their slogan is incorrect.

And I challenge anyone to prove that is not the case.

And yet I feel that I am being hounded because I have stated something that is true.

So I've had enough, we clearly have different understandings of the word NEVER and nothing is going to change that.

So I am adding you to my ignore list, suggest you do the same to me because we clearly rub each other up the wrong way.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
It's still not clear to me - why do people price-match at JL? Why go to the bother of doing all this submit a claim business if the product is identical, including things like warranty. If the reason for doing the match is JL offer better terms, then they aren't obligated to lower their shelf price. I suspect this is the case most of the time.
 

nvingo

Distinguished Member
It's still not clear to me - why do people price-match at JL? Why go to the bother of doing all this submit a claim business if the product is identical, including things like warranty. If the reason for doing the match is JL offer better terms, then they aren't obligated to lower their shelf price. I suspect this is the case most of the time.
Traditionally, they may have still had somewhere to take back an item to make a claim, where the competition might not. Of course all retailers' futures are as flakey as any other now.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Traditionally, they may have still had somewhere to take back an item to make a claim, where the competition might not. Of course all retailers' futures are as flakey as any other now.

It's possible that people are wanting to 'bet' on JL still being around. My strong feeling, which hasn't been disproved yet, is that the JL product offers more so the price match is generous, but not required by their slogan.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member

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Inked

Distinguished Member

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