Misleading Advertisements are of Concern

16/05/2018 14:51

Consumers are urged to beware of misleading advertisements when shopping in the marketplace.

This call comes in light of the market surveillances carried out by the Council.

 The findings of this survey uncovered a prominent supermarket in Labasa that advertised “a 4litre Dukes Canola Oil at $10.87 and now slashed to special price of $10.85” for the promotion period, 26 – 29 April 2018.

 The Council noted, the normal price of $10.87 is rounded off and the consumer will pay $10.85 regardless.

 So, in reality there is no special price or discount for consumers as promoted by this Supermarket unless a person buys 2 bottles of 4litre Canola oil.

 In another case, a Supermarket promoted their Punjas 2 kg dhal with the sale notice “was $3.34 now $1.55” however the actual shelf price for this product was $2.26.

 In this case consumers were led to believe by buying the product at $1.55 they are getting this product for half the value of what it was selling for.

 Since 2016, the Council has received 155 complaints worth more than $191,931 regarding misleading advertisements.

 Based on the nature of complaints received, the most common issues were discount prices advertised not reflected at point of sale; discount prices advertised was the same or more than the normal price of product; advertised products not meeting specifications as listed by trader; advertisements not specifying which product(s) were for sale and traders advertising the sale of a product had limited supply.

 Consumers buying only a few products can instantly notice the difference in prices charged to them and rectify the problem, however consumers who buy in bulk are not so fortunate.

 A common excuse that has been given by these supermarkets is human error or they missed amending the special prices to normal prices on their shelves when the promotion ended.

This is no longer tolerable as complaints of such nature have become a norm. This is daylight robbery of consumers’ money.

The traders must refrain from sale gimmicks and deceptive trading intended to lure consumers into choosing or spend more at their supermarkets.