Roughly 65% of the 142 commenters on The Slog’s plan for putting pressure on Tesco (for its obviously misleading pack-size price guidance instore) were in favour of taking things to the next stage.

Of those against further action, the main rationales were:

1. Tesco is too big to be affected

2. Tesco is too small a target to change the culture

3. Other supermarkets are just as bad

4. The Slog is a middle-class tosser

5. This is all part of natural free-market economics, and a jolly good thing.

We all have our opinions and our reasons for holding them, so let’s accept that and move on.

The final title to this action is ‘STOP TESCO’S PRICE TRICKS’

I will immediately effect the following:

a. A new dedicated section on the Home page devoted to complaints against Tesco’s abuse of the terms ‘offer’ and ‘value’.

b. Informing the site Tescopoly about what we’re up to, and asking for help in any way they feel fit.

What I’m asking all of YOU to do from 9 am tomorrow is:

i. Send the email to Tesco Customer Services as previously laid out:

‘We, the concerned citizens of the UK, hereby announce our intention of pointing out every example we find in your stores of dishonestly misleading prices, in particular the heinous practice of deliberately pointing customers at poor-value alternatives between small and large pack sizes.

‘We shall report these instances to local MPs, the DIIS&R, local TSOs, consumer watchdogs, the BBC, and any other medium available until you stop doing it.’

ii. On receipt of the standard robotic reply, I would ask you to send this message to your local MP:

‘I sent this worried message to Tesco today, and got this pathetic reply. What are you going to do about it?’

Copy it to your local Trading Standards Office, the BBC programme Watchdog at , and also

iii. Tweet this page link to everyone following you on Twitter, and also to all your Facebook friends, asking them to do the same if they are so inclined. Let’s get this trending on Twitter.

iv. Send appropriate links or comment thread on any sites you know that would be sympathetic to this campaign.

Let’s review Wednesday am what the effect has been, and take it from there.

And by the way: ignore the cynical detractors. As I’ve said before, cynicism is the new naivety: it is exactly what these corporates want you to think  – that the situation is hopeless, and you must obey. That’s complete bollocks, and they know it. What we need to do is call their bluff.


  1. Bluff called and E Mail sent as a starter.

    Now all we need is for the 65% to follow through and er, oh yes, me to overcome my personal blacklisting of their stores and get in there for purposes of research.


  2. Hoo bloody ray some co-ordinated action that at last is PRO-ACTIVE.

    Shall now do my bit as requested although time line will evolve around work hours.

    Radical Realists here we go!


  3. Well, I’m not sending the email, but I’ve got an axe to grind with TESCO so am happy to play take photos and put them on the net.


  4. John,
    To maximise the trending possibilities on twitter a designated time scale of when to tweet might be a good idea. Oh and you will need to drop the ‘ from #ShopTescosPriceTricks ! I would also put another hash of #Tesco into the tweet to sweep up their cult followers!


  5. I’m in.
    As a side, when we get through with Tesco, can we do a “Blue Badge” abuse theme next?
    Walk down from the station in Brighton (if you can!) and next to every take away food shop is parked their 4X4/Porshe et al displaying a blue badge. They are not disabled, not one member of their family is disabled, they probably don’t know anybody disabled!
    Sorry, pet hate of mine…


  6. Guess one has to buy one of each to see if they at least taste alike. And I’ve had to buy the different sizes of washing detergent to see how they compare in the wash. People think I’m frightfully stupid. Can’t see why. :)


  7. John what a wonder you are. Am I permitted to plagiarize most of this and use it here in NZ where exactly the same type of practices go on. My pet hate here is when they have a product on special, and another product similar right next to it. Its even worse in Australia.


  8. I suppose I’d better do like-wise…

    Since I’m retired; with lot’s of time to spare – I’ve a decision to make…
    Shall I go under-cover and dress as a wino or government inspector?


  9. JW – your leadership quality cometh.
    You have now found the rhyme to your reason.
    This is how our future will be shaped.
    Well done indeed.


  10. @ACB
    our local Plus has Dutch butter at around €1,25 for 250g (= GBP ??? What is the rate now that the euro is nose-diving!?) nor is this the cheapest, just good ordinary stuff. Organic (Bio) butter is €1,50. I can check these prices tomorrow if you are really interested.

    Milk 500ml €95ct organic €99ct.


  11. Tescopoly have been on at these bastards for years. Panorama covered this story a month ago and drew an audience of 4.5m. And you expect to have an effect by Wednesday? Who’s being naive here?


  12. KFC, I second that strongly. Actually had a blazing row with the guy that parks his porshe in the same spot every day with a blue badge in the lanes but has zero disability. He just owns the jewellers down there


  13. Another scam Tesco (and the rest) pull is a shelf full of an offer except for the one/two items smack in the middle at eye level, that aren’t on offer and we are supposed to know this because the signage does not sit under those 1/2 items.


  14. Got standard reply
    “Thank you for contacting Tesco Customer Service.

    One of our team will be in touch with a personal response to your query shortly.

    Kind regards

    Tesco Customer Service Team”

    Now following through contacting MP, watchdog etc.


  15. I don’t think so. I’ve campaigned for five years against the building of a Tesco in my local Suffolk town (successfully thus far but they keep coming) and, apparently unlike you John, I haven’t shopped at Tesco in that time. So don’t call me a troll when I point out that you’re unlikely to achieve much in a couple of days. Leave the accusations of troll-dom to the Guardian where it truly belongs.


  16. Thank you John: I never knew that about 100 yards from my flat there is a Tesco, in the Strawinkylaan in Amsterdam-Buitenveldert. Should I put a bomb under it ?


  17. I have just avoided being Tescoed.

    I thought to have found a good deal on a Thermos flask at my local Tesco. In my haste, I erroneously interpreted the ticket as saying £5 reduced to £3.

    The ticket was quite high up and being a shorthouse, with my bifocals, I did not see the small £8 price in black on red, seeing only the large yellow £5 and £3s on red.

    My fault for not taking the time to analyse the ticket which I saw through the distance part of my bifocals but for me it is a price ticket designed to trick the unwary shopper.

    PS After two longish waits I got my money back. The assistant was not pleased when I said that I had the intention of participating in your campaign.


  18. Same things happen here all the time in most of the cut (?)price stores.The parent of the (?) stores are mostly ok,but the (?) stores are franchised selling the same products as the parent,including no name items.”It’s all merchandizing” dealing with not very smart shoppers who can’t wait to get home in front of the tele!!
    carry a calculator,know your products watch cash register,any surprises,just say you don’t want it.
    Here in Canada the different size packages are my bugbear.The parent stores seem bound to show unit price on the price tag but the franchise don’t.


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