This story was originally published on RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission
A Kennedy’s Foodcentre trading as Pak’n Save Māngere has been fined more than $70,000 for price discrepancies in 2018.
The supermarket was found to have charged a higher price at the till to what was advertised promotionally, or displayed on the shelf.
It had earlier pleaded guilty to six charges of making false or misleading representations about price.
On six dates in 2018, Pak’nSave Māngere was found to have charged a higher price at the till for products like sliced salmon, mushrooms and avocados.
- Sliced salmon was displayed at $8.99 but charged at $10.79 on four occasions
- Mushrooms were displayed at $4.99 but charged at $6.99 on two occasions
- Avocados were displayed at three for $5 but charged at $1.99 each on one occasion.
Those discrepancies were raised with the supermarket by the Commerce Commission, who had sent staff to conduct mystery shops.
Despite this, some were not fixed straight away, and in a written decision, Judge McNaughton described the conduct as repeatedly careless.
“The pricing discrepancies related to a number of individual items across different departments of the supermarket and they were repeated, and the defendant did not immediately take steps to correct its pricing systems,” he said.
Judge McNaughton noted that Pak’nSave Māngere did take some steps to remedy the problem but said the immediate failure to act was inexcusable.
Commerce Commission chairperson Anna Rawlings said consumers should be able to trust that the price displayed on the shelf is the one they would be charged.
“If a mistake is made, businesses should ensure consumers are compensated and take immediate steps to ensure that the mistake is not repeated.”
In a statement, Pak’nSave Mangere owner Michael Kennedy said the situation was disappointing.
She said significant steps had been taken to ensure this did not happen again, including additional in-store training.
“We try not to make mistakes, but if we do, we always work to correct them,” she said.
“My team work hard every day and understand the importance of paying additional care and attention to ticketing and price verification – it is important we get it right and our customers can trust they will be charged accurately.”