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OFT fingers online grocers over pricing

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The UK's biggest supermarkets have been ticked off for not being clear about the prices they charge for online groceries.

The supermarkets use guide prices on their websites to show the in-store cost of goods on the day they're ordered. In most cases, the actual prices punters pay is the same online and in-store.

However, there are times when in-store prices change between the time the order was placed and when it was delivered. This difference has prompted complaints from consumers that the prices charged for groceries on delivery were different from those advertised on the websites.

Following the intervention of the Office for Fair Trading (OFT), Asda, Sainsbury, Tesco, Waitrose, and Ocado have all agreed to provide clearer information about their online pricing.

John Fingleton, OFT Chief Executive, said: "We welcome the supermarkets' improvements to the information available to customers buying groceries online. Customers have a right to clear and transparent information upfront when making their buying decisions."

In a statement Sainsbury said that it worked closely with the OFT to implement all the recommendations put forward.

"We are always looking for ways to make improvements to our site and only recently we made our terms and conditions more accessible so that customers are easily reminded of them as they shop," it said. ®

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