There has been a flurry of Tesco wine sales, after deal-hunters spotted a clash of offers, which left a £9.99 bottle of wine priced at just £1.50. A deal site publicised the deal, and savvy shoppers cleared the shelves at their local branches.
So what happened? Can you still take advantage, and what are the rules surrounding pricing glitches like this?
The dealThe clash in question was when two particular offers affected two types of wine - OGIO Chardonnay and Merlot. The first was a 3 wines for £12 offer, which brought the £9.99 wine down to £4. The second was a 25% off wine deal (when you buy 6 bottles or more), which was taken off the full price - removing £2.50 - leaving the wine priced at £1.50.
The deal was spotted by HotUKDeals.com Member, lorrainep70 who found it just before lunchtime yesterday, and posted details, along with her receipts and and images of her wine purchased.
The deal immediately became the hottest of the day, and received almost 900 comments. Users were impressed that they were getting six bottles of wine for the price of one.
One user, trackaccessgirl, commented: "Just popped to my local Tesco (Gillingham) and cleared the shelves!! I have a wedding party early next year and they'll be drinking this whether they like it or not. Got 36 bottles for £59 instead of £359!!!! cheers."
Can you cash in?As the day wore on, some people commented that their local store had amended the original price of the Chardonnay to £6.79, so the 25% off was lower. Others, however, said the offer was still live locally at the time of writing - so it may be worth popping down to check.
Even at the new price, it's a good deal. It will also appeal to those who wonder whether the 'original' price of the wines quoted on these kinds of offers is always a fair refection of what the wine is usually on sale for (rather than the price they sold it for in some stores, for a specific period in order to meet retail regulations). By putting the original price at £9.99, they have effectively ripped themselves off.
The rulesIt's always fun when a supermarket glitch showers us in free food and drink, and this will come as a useful Christmas bonus for many. However, the rules surrounding glitches means that retailers don't necessarily have to honour them.
It comes down to whether you picking up and paying for something qualifies as a contract. In the real worlds it usually does.
However, in the virtual world, most retailers have a caveat to protect them from this sort of thing. If you order something, and pay for it, this still isn't a contract until the item is actually shipped. Up until that point, the terms and conditions specify that the retailers can simply refund and refuse to sell that that price.
In March this year Tesco garnered some terrible publicity after advertising an iPad for £49.99 (instead of around £650). Shoppers snapped them up, and some felt that the fact their payment had been accepted constituted a contract - and that it should therefore be honoured. However, the supermarket highlighted that their terms made it clear that there was no contract until the item was shipped, and simply refunded the money.
Not the firstHowever, the good news is that there are still plenty of glitches that make it through the net. Last June saw what the press at the time called a 'beer stampede' when a glitch meant a beer offer on cans was supposed to take £4 off two £10 cases of Carling, Fosters, Budweiser, Becks, Boddingtons, Kronenberg, Strongbow and Stella Artois - so they cost £16 instead of £20. Instead, however, the tills were charging £4 for two crates - which worked out as 17p a can.
Recently Tesco was at it again, when last month it applied two separate deals to Terry's Chocolate Oranges, which meant they sold for 29p instead of £2.75.
And Tesco isn't alone. Asda also fell foul of a glitch recently, when one of the pumps at one service station was configured to charge 12.9p a litre because of a misplaced decimal point.
What do you think?There will be those who argue that this isn't something-for-nothing, and that if you're getting an incredible bargain, then someone else somewhere else is missing out. However, there will also be those who argue that the supermarkets in particular can afford for you to take advantage every once in a while.
The rule seems to be that if you want to take advantage of a glitch you need to be quick, and you need to be prepared for possible disappointment. There are lots of forums to help you keep on top of deals like this, so it's worth keeping your eye on them if you're really keen.
However, the basic rule of thumb remains the same for all of these glitches: if you didn't want it at the original price, you're not saving any money by buying it at the reduced one.