Double Pricing: How One Supermarket Cheats Its Customers With Devious Tactics, Port Moresby

Clarity in pricing is, perhaps, the most important factor in the retail industry. Absence of this factor results in supermarkets cheating customers – this is a question of morality, it is worth highlighting. Why would pricing be done to confuse and extort money from unsuspecting customers? If you are someone who often do family shopping at this supermarket in Port Moresby you should be vigilant, especially if you are buying good on specials.

FOODWORLD Gordons, an example of double pricing.
Selling price on both products, K8.05; 
Discount price K5.90 on Window Cleaner

I have been near victim of double pricing on several occasions. What happened was that two similar products were placed together – one on reduced price and the other isn’t, with the reduced price made to be indicative of both items. I am a maths teacher, I am good with numbers. By principle, I always check prices before I make payment if I am going to buy something – a personal trait I developed over time. I think, that was possibly why I was able to identify this irregularity and share my blue experience.

So, here were the incidents that prompted me to write about this conniving act by the major supermarket at Gordons. The first incident happened when a 5 toea change was not given back to me. I had to ask for it to be given. How many of you may have just walked away? Think about it. Though it was not much, it was a matter of personal principle – the shop has an obligation (it is duty bound) to give me the right change. The fact that I asked for it does not make me a lesser person, but challenges this devious norm that 5 toea doesn’t matter – it does matter!

On another occasion I went to the same shop to buy some cleaning products. On first sight, two similar products were put together in one shelf with the same price label on either sides, encompassing both products. Knowing the normal prices, I realized the products were reduced by nearly K2.00. I pick up 2 Spray and Wipe and 2 Window Cleaner refillers – a saving of nearly K8.00. From the picture shown above, not only the cleaning products were very much alike but both selling and reduced prices were indicative of both products. So, you would have easily worked out the special applied to both items. I found out, at home, when looking through the receipt that the 4 cleaning products were not all the same price. I went back to the shop, to the same cashier and asked why. I was told the products were different. Though I knew they were different I was upset that I had been cheated by double pricing. I wouldn’t have bought 2 of the expensive products if the pricing was clear. The fact that pricing was unclear was upsetting.

Devious pricing:
- Pricing was done to conceal the expensive one. 
- Both products were placed together in the same shelf, devious 


The third incident at the same shop happened today (5th May, 2016). Unsuspectingly, I pick 2 Aerogard Roll On (50mls). They were taken from the same shelf with the same discount price of K9.95. I have had difficulty identifying Tropical Aerogard (K10.05) from Odourless Aerogard Roll On (K9.95) both 50mls when they were placed together. 

Again these were different products, but the same tactic was used to conceal the price not reduced.  I questioned why similar products were placed together, side by side on the same shelf with the discount price visible. I do admit that I should have gone further and looked closely at the fine prints. Should I blame myself? I don’t think so because I knew what I was buying. I also knew there was a saving of 10 toea. It was obvious the pricing was deliberately done to deceive customers, me being one.


In fact, these tactics (double pricing and putting similar products together) wasn’t the first time this supermarket used as it has happened on several occasions. Customers need clarity in pricing. If there is a discount offered, as in the case of Spray and Wipe and Window Clearner refillables (or the Aerogards 50mls or any products on sale), there must be clear separation and pricing to avoid mix-ups. 

The images and receipt were of the original products from the Gordons Foodworld supermarket. At no point did anyone apologise for these incidents. Nor did the supervisors show any indication to improve the way they did pricing. To date, I am still a customer at that supermarket, but a meticulous one. Next time you shop, shop smart.

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