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Now I get this:
"Unfortunately, here at John Lewis.com, we deal with online price matching for items purchased through the website rather than in store price matches - this has to be done via your local branch as we are different parts of the John Lewis company.
We are more than happy to price match claims when the item is available for purchasing online but we are not able to price match on behalf of a John Lewis store due to restrictions in the business.
These restrictions are in place to enable the company a greater control over stock and allow for better customer service, rather than centralising a larger amount of stock.
We have a process called Local Price Matching, which can be done through your local John Lewis branch. To do this you can visit your local branch or alternatively call one of our branch advisors on your local stores number, who will be happy to help you process this price match.
Whichever of these options (by calling or visiting the branch) is best for you, we can still arrange a delivery for you to your home address if it would be more convenient for you."
* subject to rather a lot of rules that we'll interpret how we like.
I believe they will have to rethink that strategy.
It used to work well when they were only price matching the local stores and national chain stores.
However since the advent of internet selling, the market place is completely different now and much more fast moving.
Particularly with the super market chains like Tesco and Asda moving into electronics, clothes, etc.
We should all remember that shops can choose not to sell to any customer.
Also that buying things at a discount is a "privilege" and not a "right".
Sounds like JL has decided to pursue the TRU method of price matching - claim to offer it as something your store does but put every barrier in the way possible to prevent customers actually making use of it.
But I've long barely seen the point of price matching anyway, it's always seemed a bit of a con. If they're going to make me jump through hoops to get it at a competitive price then it's not really worth wasting time with them in the first place.
If price match was hassle free at places that claim to offer it then I'd probably make use of it, but I think never has the hassle been worth the discount in question. I'd rather just buy where it's cheaper in the first place, wait until it's discounted again if I missed a deal, or just pay a slightly higher price not to have to deal with shit companies in the first place.
Companies like TRU always made price matching at their store not worth the hassle so I never go there at all now. It's a bit sad to see JL going down the same route.
Stores should also remember that customers choose which stores to buy from. Not just discounted items but regular items too. If stores annoy customers over a saving a few pounds when it appears the price match criteria have been met, that may be enough to keep the buyer out of their store longer term. When I price match, I will often go instore to collect. Going instore often means you see something else that you may purchase either there and then, or later on. If you feel good at saving a bit on something, you may spend on something else.
If so, how is that, once one person has got a price match, they don't reduce the price for everybody else? The first person has told them they are being undersold, presumably because they don't know. They should stop doing it once they do know.
The ASA is happy for words to be redefined at will. Rather than do what it should, and just stop telling them to use the words "unlimited" and "guaranteed" which have explicit meanings in English that these companies offerings simply and unquestionably do not adhere to. If there are limits it's not unlimited, and if it sometimes doesn't turn up, then it's obviously not guaranteed.
I'm sure the ASA would be just as happy to let JL redefine the word "knowingly" to mean whatever JL wants it to mean.
You might have more luck with trading standards though, they don't seem to be quite such a bunch of jobsworths.
The con is that people are likely to interpret the slogan as meaning their prices are the cheapest - and indeed, they should probably have a reasonable expectation of that.
If an individual approaches them for a price match the implication is that you were about to buy from the other shop. They were about to be underSOLD because the sale was imminent and measurable. Only when an individual approaches them are they made aware that they are about to be undersold and there fore the policy kicks in (its a bit like schrodinger's cat). If they are not aware of a sale at another shop (at a lower price) than they are not 'knowingly' undersold, because nobody told them about that individual sale.
If the policy was "Never knowingly underpriced" than they would be obliged to change their price for everyone as soon as someone told them about it.
"If we find a national high street competitor offering a better nationwide price for the same individual product, sold with the same service conditions, we'll lower our price to match in all our shops and on our website, including when a competitor is having a sale."
Most products don't come with "service conditions".
I suppose if a customer finds the cheaper option, and tells them about it, they didn't find it, so the above doesn't apply.
The thing that really gets me about this is not what they're policy is, but the fact that they seem to hide behind pedantics and small print. That's not what I, and a lot people, expect from a store like that.
A product that comes with a different warranty isn't actually the same product. That accounts for the additional wording that's sometimes displayed after the slogan - but it's not actually a change of slogan, because the original is used on its own. Nor is the extra wording actually necessary for reasonable people.
However, the slogan is a lie, and they seem to try wriggling out of price matches. That ought to be beneath an outfit like JLP.
I would go to Sainsbury's.
But I'm glad to see that at least a couple of you have had a good experience with us!!
I was under the impression the whole reason JL makes it's staff partners is precisely so that they can and will raise these sorts of problems?
These are the 2 replies I got.
Reply regarding price match - Lego toy 1
Thank you for your enquiry.
Here at JohnLewis.com, we can only check online availability for retailers with a high street presence, This means we can only match a price if a product is available to purchase online from both ourselves and our competitors.
If a product is only available to purchase in a competitor's store, the price match has to be submitted through a John Lewis branch. We are not able to price match on behalf of a John Lewis branch due to restrictions in the business, which are in place to enable the company a greater control over stock and allow for better customer service, rather than centralising a larger amount of stock.
In this case, although we are more than happy to match with Tescos, as the LEGO Ultra Agents Tremor Track Infiltration is only available to purchase in their stores, and not online, we are unable to price match it with our department.
This does not disqualify the claim entirely, as we have a process called Local Price Matching, which can be done through your local John Lewis branch.
To do this you can visit your local branch or alternatively call one of our branch advisors on your local stores number, who will be happy to help you process this price match.
Whichever of these options (by calling or visiting the branch) is best for you, we can still arrange a delivery for you to your home address if it would be more convenient for you.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any more assistance.
Reply regarding price match - Lego toy 2
Thank you for your price match enquiry.
I have contacted the Tesco store you have seen the item in and they have confirmed the price for the LEGO Ultra Agents Infearno Interception is priced at £24.99 which is the same price as John Lewis. Due to there not being a price difference I will not be able to accept this price match claim.
If you wish to know more information on our Never Knowingly Undersold policy please do not hesitate to contact us.
JL...... complete jokers
Check John Lewis online or in store regularly and you will pick up plenty of bargains.... Stop trying to play the system then whinge when you lose.
I think that it's as fair a policy as we can implement - it stood virtually unchanged for over 100 years, but clearly we've had to react to the internet which has caused the biggest upheaval ever seen in retailing.
I'd like to think that while people could save themselves a few pounds on occasion by shopping elsewhere, they like to come back to JL (and Waitrose), because we offer a level of customer service that is fast going out of fashion with our competitors.
I completely accept that it's frustrating if you are quoted one thing by one Partner, and something else by a different Partner on what appears to be the same set of circumstances, but with nearly 100,000 Partners, we're going to make mistakes and be inconsistent now and again. Sorry!
(I'd point out that I'm not with Customer Services - I'm just one of those 100k Partners, so I want to make it clear that these are my views, and not necessarily the Partnership's.)
JL have come back to me with - not that ASDA don't sell them at that price, as I was expecting - but that the branch of ASDA that I price matched to does not currently stock any lego. So in a few days, they have sold out not just the set I bought, but their entire lego stock? Or just a made up reason.
Regularly scouring the shelves or web site has nothing to do with price-matching. Usually because the "shop across the road" isn't across the road but at the other end of town. If you organise your trip so that you end at a shop that price matches, you simply get it there rather than retracing your steps. The idea is that you can hope that JLP is cheaper, but it doesn't matter when it isn't.
I've got JLP to price match, in store, a couple of times for exactly that reason. I'd only consider it online because their options for delivery (to other JLP stores) makes things easier. Probably the same place as Tesco or Asda hate. The average shopper gets fed up hearing about something they've considered buying being available cheaply and then finding it isn't.
I don't imagine that JLP would like the idea of being compared to Tesco one little tiny bit. That should worry them. They used to be almost squeaky clean, a position that's very hard to reach. If they reject price matches that aren't contrived, don't modify prices when alerted that a competitor has a genuinely cheaper price or deliver bashed items in plastic bags, then it's a hard road back
A store's bread and butter come from Mr Average, not enthusiasts or resellers who want to squeeze the system as hard as they can. If the latter are a problem, then the system needs changing, but Mr Average must feel that it works as advertised.
I can see the reason to buy something electrical from JL to take advantage of a longer warranty, but something like Lego, buy it at the cheaper place and if it goes out of stock there then you're being a chancer and taking advantage of JLs goodwill by submitting a pricematch claim, or even worse claiming a cheap price that doesn't exist and asking them to match that.
Getting anything in a sale has everything to do with being in the right place at the right time, before it sells out. If you snooze, you lose. There is no entitlement to those cheap prices by falling back on JL's generous policy for an item that isn't available at the price you're hoping to match.
You can try it on, but if you get knocked back then there's no need to moan.
Calling JL when they check out the price match claims and knock them back for a valid technicality is fair do's IMO.
I really couldn't care if a price match is refused when someone is pulling a fast one, but when it's a legit request by their own rules and gets refused that's when I take issue because at that pint price matching goes from being "We'll always try our best to offer you the most competitive price" to "We'll lie about being competitive in the hope you pay more and buy it from us anyway now you're already here".
Price matching was meant to be about promising competitiveness on pricing, but it's repeatedly getting turned into an underhanded method used to bait people into stores away from competitors based on a lie.
If you don't want to price match, or don't want to price match certain items or want to apply restrictions that's fine. Just don't use slogans that are an outright lie. Obviously at this point JLs headline slogan has become a lie because there are so many caveats that words like "never" and "knowingly" aren't what JL is offering in practice. That leaves JL a choice - start living up to it or ditch it, then there's really no problem.
Keep peddling a lie though and it deserves any flack it gets.
Then every shop could sell Lego at that reasonable RRP.
However, TLG insist on pricing Lego like it was the latest apple iphone.
Inciting us all to look for a better deal.
Fingers crossed there is a deal worth posting soon, just to break the cycle :wink: ...