Home African Caribbean Shoppers Beware, Highway Robbery!

Shoppers Beware, Highway Robbery!

by Tony Kelly

Our home computer has been rather slow for the past few years and as a technophobe I sought advice as to what to do from a friend to make it perform at a speedier rate. I learnt for the first time that computers are deliberately made in such a way that after a while earlier models although up-to-date no longer perform as quickly as one is accustomed to and this has nothing to do with internet speed.

So this friend of the family who is very experienced with regard to information technology looked online and found a super computer on sale at Curry’s a well-known store in Britain clearly identified as having £150.00 off the normal price. His actual WhatsApp message to me on the 18th May was ‘Yes, go to Curry’s and purchase it’ as he viewed it as a real bargain!!!  I went immediately to the nearest Curry‘s store only to be told by the manager that what is advertised on the website is a mistake and I cannot be sold the computer at the special sale price even though he too saw it there. Despite my legal background explaining to him that under the Trade Description Act he is duty bound to sell me the item at the price it has been advertised on the company’s website as it could be heavily fined for misleading the public, he refused to budge so I did not buy it. I rang my friend who recommended this computer in the first place whilst still in the store and he tried to purchase it online. However even though it was still advertised with the discount, when he tried to pay it would not recognize the £150.00 off as a reduction and was coming up with the full price. So I advised him not to purchase it either as that amounts to highway robbery.

I have complained via two separate telephone calls to Curry’s customer service number 03448006080 and was assured on both occasions that a manager would investigate and come back to me. Three full days have passed and no one has bothered to do so. This well-known electrical store would rather exacerbate the problem by delivering poor customer service instead of honoring what was advertised on their website. ‘The customer is always right’ is a motto or slogan which exhorts service staff to give a high priority to customer satisfaction.  

The company has since taken down the special offer but unbeknown to them my friend did a screenshot with the date, time and sale price as evidence which they will not be able to deny or dispute.

I have lodged official complaints with the BBC TV Watchdog team, as well as another British TV programmer called Rip off Britain and thirdly the Citizen Advice Bureau who deal with issues surrounding the Trade Description Act. If big companies such as Curry’s can without blinking an eye rob us the  consumers/shoppers and be allowed to get away with it, then we might as well  not challenge these clear breaches and unscrupulous attempts to defraud us. This situation is not about the £150.00  special offer which they refused to honour  but the principle involved and I am urging consumers to be vigilant as corporate businesses seem to think that we do not have rights and they can do as they please with no regard to the laws in place that are meant to protect us.

Consumers across the globe are currently experiencing the sudden rise in the cost of living and everyone has to spend their money with care and attention. Why should companies such as Curry’s with the millions in profit that they make each year be holding its customers to ransom? To quote a well-known Jamaican saying ‘Duppy know who fi frighten’ and I will not allow this blatant disregard for me as a consumer to give in to such extortion and deceit nor should anyone reading this article.  

It would be interesting to see in the comments section if others have had any similar experiences whilst shopping.

Tony Kelly

Tony Kelly

London born Tony Kelly of Jamaican parents grew up in Jamaica and returned to live in Birmingham in 1979.
He is a graduate of Mico Teachers’ College and taught in Kingston high schools prior to working for 30+ years as a middle manager in central and local government with an emphasis on equity, equality, diversity and inclusion. He has a masters’ degree in socio-legal studies from the university of Birmingham.
For over a decade Tony has volunteered as a diabetes ambassador firstly for Diabetes UK and now for the National Health Service – Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group. A multi-award winner doing a yearly average of 150 health and well-being events, locally, nationally and internationally focusing on type 2 diabetes. He was diagnosed with this medical condition 18 years ago. However with a combination of physical activity and diet he has never taken medication thus proving with the right mindset and discipline it can be achieved.
As a diabetes advocate/activist Tony will continue delivering the message of healthy options to readers of CaribDirect.com .


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Charles Mergun June 7, 2022 - 8:08 pm

Currys are terrible at doing this. I have previously seen something advertised at one price then the price went up at the checkout. I didn’thave the energy to chase them and get the true price they advertised. I ended up buying the product from Argos and would encourage others to do the same and use other shops / providers till Currys start keeping to the prices they promote and stop these false advertising technique!

Colin May 22, 2022 - 6:50 pm

I’ve had experience of curry’s products being advertised at a price. When yiu go in the shop they tell you thsts it’s an online price. You go online and the price is different than advertised. You enquire about why this is and the response……”its a mistake and should have been taken down before now”.

Well this has happened twice. I realise it’s a marketing strategy designed to get your attention. It must therefore be effective enough a tool which encourages a large number of undto purchase other products or even the one advertised even though its more expensive than initially thought.

The fine for fales advertising must be smaller than the amount of money made during these scam adverts. So it’s just as cheep to keep doing it. Also as most people don’t complain to the advertising standards the total fine annualy is miniscule than the money made by them.

Yvonne May 22, 2022 - 12:48 pm

Tony, a recent experience I had is not as big but equally significant AND with a more positive outcome. I picked up two cans of fruit in a popular supermarket (the one that begins with Alpha) and used the self checkout to pay. When I scanned the first can, it came up as .41p and not .35p as displayed on the shelf. I got a CS rep, who went to the shelf, got a can, did her own scanning (higher price came up) She cancelled my order, ascertained that I wanted both cans and gave me at the lower (advertised) price with an apology. Victory!

Surindar May 22, 2022 - 11:29 am

I’ve had a similar experience but took some advice from my techie friend.
He helped me find a techie and I had the computer “cleaned” and is now working fine.


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