Monday 26 September 2016

Know your rights: Dermott Jewell, consumer expert

Euro/sterling difference, catering disappointment and gift receipts and cards. What are your rights? Our expert has the answers...

Published 15/01/2016 | 02:30

Exchange rate fluctuations can cause confusion when pricing goods.
Exchange rate fluctuations can cause confusion when pricing goods.

Q: Hello Dermott. I thought you would be able to take on an issue that I have found regarding price display. In a quite well known department store I found products with prices displayed in both euro and sterling. I understood that this was illegal? However, in addition, when I calculated the prices for comparison I found that the euro price was much more expensive and was not a fair equivalent. This is a misrepresentation surely that must be challenged. Keep up the good work. Alan.

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A: Many thanks Alan. I understand how you are more than a little concerned and I would believe there are many like-minded consumers who share your views. However, I can tell you that all retailers operating in Ireland are obliged to price their products in euro, but they can also display the price of that product in other currencies. Many of the items you can find in our stores are manufactured outside the country. This happens most often with the branches of UK stores that are established in Ireland.

In addition, and it's why I say that many share your view, there is much confusion regarding this specific dual pricing and the assumption is that the euro price is a straight conversion of the sterling price, but it is not related.

Retailers do not have to offer the products at the same price in different countries. This is how you found both prices on the items. But the sterling price is only valid for the UK and, as you know, we cannot pay with sterling in Ireland.

I will agree with you on one thing though, the reality that the price is always higher than its sterling conversion does need to be challenged because, let's not forget, that price already includes a hefty profit margin!

Irish Independent

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