Tesco has ditched its double the difference price promise from its online price checker blaming a “cottage industry” of determined shoppers who have exploited the system.

Tesco will instead reimburse shoppers just the difference if their groceries are found to be cheaper at Asda.

Tesco launched its double the difference price check in response to Asda’s Price Guarantee whereby it claims to be at least 10% cheaper than its rivals. Tesco’s offer led to shoppers stocking up on items that were on special offer in Asda, then buy the same at Tesco, claim the coupons, then go on recycling the coupons to make money.

Tesco said that the majority of its customers use Price Check fairly but the “cottage industry of savvy and determined people” meant it had to change the system.

The change will be welcome news to Asda, which has been gaining ground since it upped its Price Guarantee to 10% at the start of the year.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “Price Check has given our customers confidence in our prices and transparency.  But some people have misused the scheme to cash in. So we have taken this step to protect Price Check for the majority of our customers.”

An Asda spokesman said: “Clearly they found it hard to make a promise they couldn’t keep.”