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Tesco 'greatly regrets' misleading prices on products

The company was fined €600 in a case brought by the National Consumer Agency – it says the mistake was a ‘human error’.

Image: Ali Waggie/PA Wire/Press Association Images

SUPERMARKET GIANT TESCO has been fined in Dublin District Court for misleading pricing.

The National Consumer Agency brought the prosecution against the company in relation to eight alleged breaches of the Consumer Protection Act.

These were in relation to charging higher prices for a range of products than that displayed.

The NCA also alleged Tesco had one breach of the product pricing relations for failing to display the price of a product.

The charges were brought after an inspection was undertaken by an authorised NCA officer at Tesco stores in Talbot St and Phibsboro in Dublin; Coonagh Cross in Limerick; Ennis; Maynooth; Wexford Town; Carrick on Shannon; Clane and Greystones.

Tesco was convicted on one charge and the other eight charges were taken into consideration.

A spokesperson for Tesco told TheJournal.ie:

It is our policy to have clear prices in place at all times. Across all our stores, we have 2.7 million price labels up every day; last year, the NCA found mistakes in 8 of these.
This was as a result of human error during a time of major change in our stores.
It should not have happened and we greatly regret it. Improvements have been made to our processes as a result.

The company was fined €600 plus VAT, while further sums of €1,500 and €1,596 were awarded to the NCA for expenses and costs plus vat, respectively.

Ms Ann Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of the NCA, said the conviction should remind all retailers of the importance of meeting their obligations under consumer protection law.

The requirement on traders to ensure that products are accurately priced has never been more important than in the current economic environment and enables hard-pressed consumers to have advance knowledge of the price being charged and thereby make informed decisions regarding their purchasing.

The NCA said the majority of breaches of price display requirements and misleading pricing are dealt with using on-the-spot fines or issuing compliance notices to traders.

So far this year, 34 fixed payment notices and 14 compliance notices have been imposed on traders across a variety of retail sectors.

Ms Fitzgerald said the NCA does not hesitate to prosecute if circumstances so warrant.

Consumers with complaints relating to the absence of pricing or misleading pricing are encouraged to approach the retailer and to also get in contact with the NCA at 1890 432 432.

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