Sweet treats for wedding guests at a huge discount

When the price isn't right, you could hit the jackpot!

Taylor Paul received one box of chocolates free and paid R26,99 each for a further 30 after a wrong price was displayed in a Woolworths store
SWEET DEAL: Taylor Paul received one box of chocolates free and paid R26,99 each for a further 30 after a wrong price was displayed in a Woolworths store

What do you do if you get to the till and the box of chocolates marked at R27 on the shelf turns out to cost R100?

If you’re in a branch of Woolworths, the company’s wrong price policy should see you getting the box free of charge, and any others at the lower price.

But that’s not what happened to Taylor Paul in the Douglasdale branch in Johannesburg last week.

And there was a lot at stake, because she had 31 of those fairly large red chocolate boxes in her trolley.

Having spotted the boxes marked at R26,99 in the store as part of a Valentine’s Day display, Paul had returned the next day with her partner to buy 31 of them as gifts for guests at their wedding next weekend.

“I was extremely upset because the boxes were marked at R26,99 on not one but three shelves in different parts of that store.

“And the bar code on the shelf sign matched the bar code of those chocolates.

“There were no other chocolates on sale at that price.

“But both the assistant manager and store manager said no, and they would only give one box for free,” she told TimesLIVE.

“I only saw the R99,99 price sticker on the back of the box when I was at the till, arguing with the manager.”

Eventually, she said, the store manager offered to give her 10 boxes at no cost and the other 21 at R99,99.

But the couple left the store empty-handed and “extremely embarrassed”.

Responding to TimesLIVE consumer division’s query about the incident, Woolworths conceded that the store was in the wrong.

“Our wrong price policy states that if there is an incorrect price [on the shelf], then the item is free.

“But if there’s more than one of the same item, as in this case, then the first is free and others are charged at the lower price.

“In this instance, it appears that our store’s team did not correctly implement this policy.

“Therefore we will be in contact with the customer to apologise for the experience and to rectify the issue and will be engaging with our stores teams to remind them of the policy.”

An elated Paul has since received one box of chocolates free of charge and paid R26,99 each for another 30 boxes.

She also received two bottles of bubbly and vouchers from the store.

“The store manager was very helpful and apologetic when I went back,” she said.

“I will continue to buy from that store because they rectified the error and I felt much better after leaving the second time.”

Pick n Pay was the first supermarket group to introduce a voluntary wrong price policy of first item free and other identical products at the lower price many years ago.

But the group has since amended that to a refund of double the difference between the wrong price [on the shelf] and the correct price [at the till].

CONTACT WENDY: E-mail: consumer@knowler.co.za; Twitter: @wendyknowler; Facebook: wendyknowlerconsumer

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.