Tesco has shrugged off initial teething problems with its new PriceCheck guarantee and said it remains committed to the promotion, despite having to cap refunds after some shoppers were making claims of more than £100.
Tesco launched its PriceCheck promotion last month, pledging to reimburse shoppers with double the difference if their shopping was found to be cheaper at Asda. Tesco’s promotion was launched in response to Asda’s revamped price guarantee, launched in January, which promised to be 10% cheaper than its rivals.
But promotion-savvy Tesco customers have been buying products in bulk which were on offer at Asda and claiming double the difference back at Tesco. For example, shoppers were buying a bottle of wine from Asda at £5 cheaper, then buying five bottles from Tesco and claiming back £50. Tesco has now put a £20 cap on all refunds.
A Tesco spokesman said: “The intention of the PriceCheck is to help families doing the weekly shop, it was never intended to help people make money. We are committed to the guarantee and committed to showing Tesco is cheaper than Asda.
“The £20 cap will not affect 99.98% of the customers that use it. On average 80% of customers are finding Tesco cheaper than Asda, the remaining 20% on average were paid out 30p in coupons.
“It was less than 0.02% -about 100 people - who ingeniously managed to gain a larger amount. In reality, we’re talking about a tiny amount of people.”
However, Shore Capital analyst Clive Black said the fact that it has been necessary for Tesco to add this £20 cap was “very embarrassing” for the retailer.
He said it was questionable whether Tesco should be responding in such a way to another retailer’s marketing efforts, adding it should “concentrate on its own proposition”.
He added: “It was an error for Tesco to be so reactive to Asda. Consumers are very switched on and are not just buying because of lower prices.”