Mick causes a stir as row brews over coffee

29/5/12_CB'Mike Harrington from Fareham who is unhappy with ASDA for it's pricing of 200g and 300g Nescafe jars.''Picture: Steve Reid (121686-883)
29/5/12_CB'Mike Harrington from Fareham who is unhappy with ASDA for it's pricing of 200g and 300g Nescafe jars.''Picture: Steve Reid (121686-883)
Spiece Island viewed from the harbour

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PENSIONER Mick Harrington is taking on supermarket giant Asda over the price of a jar of coffee.

Mick, 66, of Fort Fareham Road in Fareham, spotted a 200g jar of Nescafe coffee on the shelf of his local Asda for £3.

But right below it and priced at £4 was a 300g jar of the same coffee marked ‘50 per cent free’.

Mick realised that the second jar should cost the same as the first if it really did contain 50 per cent ‘free’.

He took staff at the store in Speedfields Park, Fareham, to task but none of them were able to explain why the two jars were not the same price.

Mr Harrington said: ‘It’s not 50 per cent free if they’re charging you more money for it, is it? I probably spend about £1,500 in that store each year, so it makes me very angry that they are doing things like this.’

The pensioner contacted the supermarket’s headquarters. He said: ‘They were putting the blame on Nescafe, saying they set the prices. But I didn’t buy it from Nescafe, I bought it from Asda. I told the lady there that I will pursue them for trying to defraud their customers and if Hampshire Trading Standards won’t, I will issue a summons myself at Portsmouth County Court.

‘I’m not poor, so I will fight this with my own money.’

Consumer rights expert Richard Thomson said: ‘This isn’t that unusual. It’s very annoying for shoppers to find an obvious swizz is being run on them.

‘You rarely get a week that goes past where you won’t find there’s been a mistake like this with the prices somewhere, and it’s not just with Asda.

‘There are trading regulations in place which make it an offence to put misleading prices out like that, but the regulatory authorities have tended to let them get away with it as they will say they deal with so many prices a week and it’s not done intentionally.’

An Asda spokeswoman said: ‘Unfortunately, despite our best intentions, with over 35,000 individually priced products in our stores, honest mistakes can sometimes happen. We’re very sorry for any upset caused as a result of this error which has already been rectified, and have offered a full refund as a gesture of goodwill.’

by CHRIS BROOM

The News

chris.broom@thenews.co.uk