Real Life

Misleading supermarket offers

Can you fight back against the small print in supermarket advertising?
Misleading supermarket signs

Driving past a major supermarket chain, I couldn’t help but be attracted to a huge sign saying, “Spend $150 here, save 21c per litre on petrol.” I went in and spent $300. But after I got home I noticed that I had only a 4c discount voucher. I rang the supermarket and the duty manager told me to get the 21c off, I had to buy nine Wattie’s products. Apparently, there was a poster on the automatic door at the front of the store which I missed. So they stuck to their guns. There was nothing on the huge sign outside about having to buy nine Wattie’s products. Was it misleading? I went back and took a photo of it.

Yes, in my view the signage was misleading and in breach of consumer law. You can’t run up a huge sign offering a clear inducement, then somewhere else in the store raise some qualifications. That’s bait advertising, which is illegal. Sure, they may have had a large sign posted on the front door but there are so many bold signs around a supermarket you can’t be expected to read them all. Good on you for going back and taking a photo of the huge sign. That will come in most useful when you return to the supermarket, or write to its corporate offices, telling them you think they have broken the law. Mention that I agree with you. I think you will find that the supermarket, being a major corporate citizen in this country, will reconsider, apologise and agree to provide you with the correct petrol vouchers. Goodness me, these places hire enough PR people! Surely one of them will put them on the right track.

Do you have a consumer question for Kevin? Email [[email protected]](mailto: [email protected]), or post to Weekly Consumer, PO Box 90119, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142.

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