John Lewis has denied claims that it has altered the terms and conditions of its Never Knowingly Undersold price matching policy after rewording its pledge.

The Never Knowingly Undersold policy has guaranteed customers it will refund the difference if they can find the product for less elsewhere for the 86 years of the department store business’ history.

In September, it extended the pricing policy to cover its online operations.

The rewording of the pledge says that the department store will not match prices on a range of electrical items where it offers a longer warranty, even if the customer does not want the extra cover or could buy the additional cover for less than the difference in price.

John Lewis said that the policy had not changed but that the terms and conditions had previously not been as clearly stated.

A spokeswoman for John Lewis said: “Our policy has not changed. Never Knowingly Undersold is our commitment not just to price, but also to quality and service - it is for this reason that free warranties and delivery charges are also taken into account. We found that there were inconsistencies in some of our shops when our Partners were considering an item for price match, with the like-for-like premise not always clear.  

“In September 2010 when we applied Never Knowingly Undersold to online retail it seemed an appropriate time to clarify our position (for both customers and Partners), which we did with customer leaflets in all our shops and amended the information provided on our website.”