Saturday, March 26, 2011

Freshco and friends, why are you doing this to us?

I'm sure you also get those flyers during the weekend where supermarkets and other retail outfits try to persuade you to do your shopping with them. Invariably they've also sorts of special offers for us, usually involving buying more than we need of something (you know 5000 for the price of 1). Hence our ever growing mountains of rubbish.

Anyhow, so Freshco (a Canadian outfit) today sent me the flyer  that I am displaying to the left. You see the cheaper price guarantee. If I find the same product in some other store or some other flyer they will not just give the product to me at the same price, no, better even, they will 'beat' it. - The usual conditions apply. 

So, here are just a few of Freshco's conditions. They are both hilarious as well as offensive. They are unsurprisingly also more difficult to display, because they're longer than the original, seemingly straightforward deal. At least there's some information as to what 'beat it' means. And I quote: '... and we will sell you that item for 1c less'. Prior to getting that 1c discount on their best competitor you have to take the flyer to their store (yes, drive there for the 1c discount instead of buying it where it's cheaper to begin with, without the haggling). 

Anyhow, you might still think that it's worth it (for reasons unbeknownst to me), so to make things ever so slightly more complicated,here are a few minor additional conditions: 'Our major supermarket competitors', 'geographical trade areas' and 'comparable items' are determined solely by us and are based on a number of factors that can change from time to time.' So, you'd well head to Freshco, competitors' flyers in hand, to get your 1c discount per product, only to discover that, according to the store manager that you start haggling with, the flyer ain't from Freshco's 'major supermarket competitor' (ie your flyer doesn't count), or that the competitor is in the wrong part of town (ie 'geographical trade areas') etc etc. Random excuses are possible (you really would be bothered subjecting yourself to this sort of nonsense for 1c???).

Tesco in the UK was a tad bit more certain that its products really are the cheapest, so it offered to refund double the difference (as opposed to the ludicrous 1c Fresho is offering its price conscious customers). Well, that certainly flopped. They had to abandon the offer quickly because they could not afford paying out all those claims. No doubt Fresho ain't serious about its price guarantee otherwise it would not qualify the amusingly low-brow 1c deal on no less than 4 lines of smallest print. Really...

My view on offers like Fresho's is to always purchase from the retailer who offers you a decent deal straightaway as opposed to doing business with someone who first tries to charge you more and then offers you 1c (after haggling, and with said conditions applying) so that you do business with them anyway. I must also say that this sort of offer would annoy me sufficiently to stop doing business with Fresho altogether, simply because its marketing people tried to fool me with its 'beat it' promise. 

Let the buyer beware, true then, true now :).

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