Thursday 19 April 2018

Know your rights: A retailer's price-matching policy

A retailer's price-matching policy and a timing belt breaking on a second-hand car. What are your rights? Our expert has the answers...

Dermott Jewell
Dermott Jewell

Dermott Jewell

Q: Dear Dermott, a well-known retail chain advertise very prominently that they match competitor's prices. A camcorder in their local Naas branch store was €360 and in another named outlet it was €330. I reminded the staff member of their banner claim but they have refused to match the price.

They insisted they do not have to match it because it was out of stock in the cheaper local outlet and that, for the offer to stand, it must be in stock locally. They do not state that they only match prices of local stores.

Is this not false advertising? My 1st Year Business class and myself are looking forward to your reply. Tim

A: No pressure there, Tim! I have checked their T&C's - under the banner 'We Won't Be Beaten On Price' that outline:

So if you find the same product at a cheaper price elsewhere, tell us! Our managers have the authority to adjust prices and pride themselves not only on offering the most competitive rates, but getting the best deal for our customers too.

Our price match guarantee is valid for 7 days from the date of purchase, and applies to advertised or online pricing for competitors with physical retail stores in Ireland.

The competitor must have the item in stock, and it must be an identical model.

This means that, yes, this is entirely at odds with your experience and the manager of the store is possibly unaware of company policy on this. There is no mention, whatsoever, of the need for the product to be available locally.

To apply the headline claim would have to read 'We Won't Be Beaten on Price - Locally', which, lets be honest, doesn't really work, does it! So, it's time to return to the store and request that the manager, proudly adjust the price or face a claim of misleading the nation in direct breach of the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act of 2007.

Well done, Year 1.


Q: I bought a car, second-hand, in November. Nice car, low mileage and it came with a 12-month warranty. I had a problem with the timing belt breaking, a repair bill of over €3,000 and advice that the 'Mapfre' warranty did not cover this as there was an issue regarding servicing. I would appreciate your help. Eric.

A: There is too much confusion amongst consumers regarding warranties and Mapfre Warranties particularly. Clearly, in too many cases, Mapfre is not being explained when a car is being sold. Instead the impression is given that this is a gift from the dealer to you with the car to cover all potential problems. It's not - it's an insurance policy and it is sold with a used car - and you are the one paying for it as part of the sale price.

The problem is that, rather than being upfront and explaining the poor deal you are really getting on warranty, you're left not understanding the need to get or haggle for a comprehensive policy and, more than likely, getting the most basic package. Or, in plain English, there will be exclusions - lots of them!

Eric, I do recommend you check that the belt was changed under the manufacturer's requirements before you bought the car, as there could be some liability here for the garage to contribute.

Irish Independent

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