Supermarkets often fail to charge customers the right price for discounted products, and Albert Heijn and Jumbo are worst at making sure the correct price is charged at the till, according to research by the consumers association Consumentenbond.
The association visited branches of Albert Heijn, Aldi, Jumbo, Lidl and Plus and checked the price of 90 discounted articles across three separate branches of each group. The researchers focused on articles which were advertised in the shop and promoted in a different way to regular stock – such as in an active display.
Jumbo made the most mistakes. In total, 31 of the 90 special offer items were charged at a different price. Albert Heijn got it wrong 22 times and Plus 17. Jumbo and Albert Heijn were also the worst at getting the prices right in earlier research carried out in 2020 and 2021.
For example, Albert Heijn charged a customer €8.99 for Duracell AA batteries which cost €5.39 according to the special display in the store. And Jumbo charged a watchdog mystery guest €5.99 for smoked salmon, despite the store advertising saying ‘always low in price, €4.99’.
‘These sort of mistakes are unacceptable, particularly now prices are rising and consumers are looking for bargains,’ Consumentenbond director Sandra Molenaar said. ‘The price on the advert should always be the price paid at the till. Aldi and Lidl show it can be done and the other supermarkets should follow their example.’
Aldi and Lidl made few mistakes and these were almost always in the interest of the consumer, the watchdog said.
Albert Heijn, Jumbo and Plus said in a reaction that they took the research results very seriously and would make improvements.
Molenaar said the Consumentenbond would be keeping a close eye on whether or not supermarkets did do a better job. ‘And because millions of consumers have been paying too much at Albert Heijn and Jumbo for years, we would invite them to make an appropriate donation to, say, the Dutch foodbank association,’ she said.
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