Went in today to get a small spot light plus a few other bits, was shocked
to get bill for £77. WTF? Checked receipt which was correct but I couldn't
believe the price of some of the items I picked up without really checking.
So I went next door to Wickes and got the whole lot equivalent items and the
bill came to £52.
Went back to B&Q and said "OK can I have my refund plus 10% please". They
said "No, sorry it has to be the same brand so this time we can only give
you a refund."
And we are not talking all Black and Decker here either, just differant
manufacturers. So in fact B&Q can get a "Fred Bloggs Mitre Saw" mark it up
by 50% and still be safe with their price promise because they know Wickes
don't do Fred Bloggs.
The penny drops; of course it has to be the same brand however their notice
just states "same product" with no mention of brand. All this time I've
been buying there thinking it must be cheaper than next door or else
everyone would be getting this 10% refund. NOT TRUE, Earl you've been
Should I take this up with trading standards or am I just being a bit Harry
I wouldn't say you've been suckered. If the product has a different
brand name on it and different packaging, it is not the same product.
There are always several sides to these discussions.
The retailers have own brand products for a variety of reasons, this
being one of them. They did give you a refund on the purchase,
which they are not required to do by law since there was probably
nothing wrong with the thing.
Another game which is commonly played with branded products is for the
vendor to produce a special package for the retailer.
For example, take a look at Kδrcher pressure washers.
You will find that B&Q sells a model designated KB203. As far as I
could see, it doesn't appear as a model number on Kδrcher's web site
or at any other retailer, and comes with a certain package of
accessories. The machine, of course, is a standard model from the
range. Halfords do the same from time to time with KH bundles.
This serves the manufacturer as well because there is less
justification for their other retailers selling standard products to
complain if B&Q wants to bomb the price on a packaged deal.
I've successfully had 10% payouts from all of the sheds from one time
or another on branded products, notably decorating materials and
I don't think that Trading Standards will be interested in what
happened here because the products weren't the same and they have
operated within their policy.
What you say is true.
However I do think that what you say is not obvious to the average consumer.
If they go into a shop to buy a Tenon saw (one of the items I bought) B&Qs
price promise may imply to them that if you can buy a Tenon saw from
anywhere else cheaper then they will give you the 10%. Especially as they
only had one brand of Tenon saw for me to make my choice from.
I still think their large 5 foot sign should state that the price promise
applies to the same brand only and not same "product" or else this is
misleading. To me a Tenon saw is a Tenon saw.
Why don't you give Trading Standards a call on Monday and see what
they think about it.
If Sainsbury's were doing a price promise, and you went to Tesco and
found their own brand of beans was cheaper than Sainsbury's own brand,
would you expect to claim from Sainsbury's? You might if it were
I consider myself an average consumer, what ever one of those might be.
Well I have to say tat it is pretty obvious to me that there are going
to be different quality products - even if they aren't all sold in one
No that is another point, if you truly think the wording of the sign is
unclear then yes contact TS. I don't know that I would consider that
wording deliberately misleading, I can see how someone might consider
This is just another promotional tool, it is wrong to believe that it
means the prices must there fore be low. Most people are probably never
going to actually check so even if other places are selling the products
lower, there is probably a limit to the number of people who would claim
If you go to a decent tool shop, you'll find several brands of tenon saws
of different qualities and very different prices. Is this so hard to
understand? So moving on, a B&Q branded tenon saw might be a very
different animal from a Homebase one. The *only* time a price comparison
really applies is if the item is *identical in every way*. And any shed
which tries to vary this would be committing commercial suicide. Nice new
Makita drill for the price of a NuTool, anyone?
*Funny, I don't remember being absent minded.
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW 12
On Fri, 30 Jan 2004 19:28:33 +0000 (GMT), Dave Plowman
To be fair the difference is often no more than a label. Wing Pang
Po Motor Factory of China turns out tools, at the end of the
production line some get a B&Q label stuck on, some a Wickes one and
some (in a different colour plastic moulding) a much more up market
label. These identical products get sold at enormously different
Yes but they are not necessarily identical.
A product is the complete package including the backup services (or
not). The retail deliverable might or might not include accessories
like a plastic case or some bits or a small unrelated item to make the
item more attractive to the buyer.
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
True, but as I am sure you know the "value added" usually isn't, it's
merely an excuse to hoick the price up. Some time ago I used to
frequent a shirt factory in Belfast quite a lot (where the walls were
positioned was quite important at the time). In between other things
I was always intrigued to watch shirts being produced of identical
materials to identical designs on identical production lines until at
the end of the line the pile of shirts were randomly distributed to a
number of other production lines. On these different labels were
sewn into them and different packaging used. Identical shirts ended
up with prices of GBP70 plus or GBP5 depending upon nothing more than
Well VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat may all be basically the same car but sell
for vastly different prices too. Unless both products are labelled 'Bloggs
MkIII', it would be unwise to assume they are identical regardless of
looks. One might be machined and tested to a much higher standard, for
Take DVMs. Supposedly exactly the same make and model can cost a
considerably different price according to whether it's been accurately
calibrated and has a certificate confirming this. But you couldn't tell
just by looking.
*Don't worry; it only seems kinky the first time.*
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW 12
You don't walk into a car showroom and see all types of car on offer, you
only see one brand. I am trying to argue that a price promise should state
all criteria involved and not expect the consumer to find out the rules when
they try to take them up on the offer.
Yeah guys I accept I am trying to blame "the company" for my own mistake in
buying their own offer of purchase. I have a choice and in future I will
definitely shop around instead if believing that B&Qs price promise means
they are the cheapest around.
I still do maintain that that is the purpose of their price promise to lull
shoppers into a false sense of security that what they are buying is the
best deal. So, you see a mitre block and it is £15 and you automatically
think "I can't get one cheaper at Wickes or else B&Q would have spotted it
and lowered their price".
Price promise should clearly state "same product, same brand".
The only reason for my original email was the complete feeling of being
ripped off after buying a few small items, price differences as follows:
3 spot light B&Q £34.97 Wickes £24.99 + bulbs £5.16
Coping Saw (sorry not Tenon) B&Q £9.98 Wickes £7.99
Saw blades B&Q £3.78 Wickes £2.29
Adjustable Bevel B&Q £13.98 Wickes £7.99
Those few quid extra on each purchase make the world of difference to me. I
don't think I have ever visited a DIY store and spent less than £50.
I generally use B&Q because of size and choice compared to Wickes (my local
stores for reference only) and I am pretty disappointed to find that they do
not always offer value for money.
Earl, I believe you'll find that all the sheds have a similar price
promise. I am pretty sure that the notice on Focus is similar to that
You can't get a B&Q one in Wickes or a Wickes one in B&Q so there
isn't a conflict.
The brand is inherent in the meaning of the word "product".
But were they the same and at least of the same quality?
They are only doing what they say they are doing.
Every retailer does price comparisons on its large selling lines and
will selectively trumpet when it feels that it has a price or product
Supermarkets do it with loss leaders to get you into the store.
You said yourself that you use B&Q because of size and choice. That
has value as a convenience. There are probably some other examples
of items where B&Q is cheaper or has things that Wickes does not.
It then comes down to how much time you want to spend doing price
research. There is a trade off there.
Tesco's will only compare their prices with Sainsbury or Asda. If they
compared their prices with those charged in lesser known supermarkets
operating in the UK they woud be seen to be _very_ expensive.
"Caveat Emptor" as the old saying goes....
Try Screwfix (owned by B&Q as it happens):-
3 spot light from 7.99 for a bog standard R50
Coping Saw 5.25
Adjustable Bevel 6.49
(don't know what type of saw blades)
Ultimately yes, but there is a broad web of holding companies etc.
and IIRC from when I looked at the Companies House site regarding
Bargain Bob's., B&Q's immediate one is Castorama.
No doubt there are corporation tax and other reasons for the complex
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