Watch out for dodgy specials, consumer group warns Kiwi shoppers

Supermarkets must stop with misleading “specials” and will have to be pressured to do so, Consumer NZ says. Photo / 123RF

A consumer organization is demanding supermarkets stop indulging in unclear or misleading pricing and promotions.

Consumer NZ today announced a campaign and asked for public feedback on what it called “dodgy” specials.

Jon Duffy, Consumer NZ chief executive, said problematic specials included something advertised as being on special when it was charged at the regular price.

He said another type of scurrilous special included “a multi-buy that works out to be the same price whether you buy one or five items”.

The consumer group said it previously called for new rules to stop retailers using confusing pricing and promotional strategies.

“However, this didn’t happen. Instead, the Commerce Commission recommended supermarkets take responsibility to ensure their pricing and promotional practices are simple and easy to understand,” Duffy said.

He said consumers were vulnerable if specials were not genuine.

“We are not convinced the supermarkets will change their ways without pressure from consumers,” he added.

Inflation has been taking big bites out of domestic budgets this year.

Annual food price inflation has been high, rising 6.6 per cent in June 2022 compared with June 2021.