John Lewis Pricematch - Not today though!

  shaduf 16:03 07 Jul 2007

Having finally decided to buy myself an HP Pavilion DV9340 laptop I did the usual price search on the net.
John Lewis had it for sale online and in their shops at £999 and Comet had it at £900 online and £930 Shop Price.

On Thursday, we went in to our nearest John Lewis and I said I was interested in the HP9340 which they had on display at £999 and asked if they would do a price match. Understandably the salesman said not with the internet only with retail shops. Fair enough.
Then he said they couldn’t do a shop price match today, it would take them two or three days. I gave him the online printout I had from the Comet site which gave their online price as £900 and clearly stated “Shop Price £929.99” but he explained they were inundated with price match requests and it was currently taking them about three days to work through them.
He suggested that I bought it at £999 and he would put the application in, which should be alright and eventually I would get a refund and said I had 28 days in any case. Seemed reasonable to me, we were there, the car park was underneath us and Comet were half a mile away.
Coming home I thought about it and realised I had bought an expensive item and couldn’t really say what it had cost me. I don’t really feel like opening the box until I hear from them that they will honour their claim. A very unusual set of circumstances.

So what it means is that John Lewis no longer honour their claim “Never knowingly undersold” unless you are prepared to take a risk as I was. Why on earth do they not trust their sales staff, who are generally of a very high standard, to exercise their judgement on this, instead of it having to go upstairs and take three days. (It will be five days with the weekend probably). Most transactions are not of this value and they must lose custom by people who are not as easy going as me and will just walk round the corner to where it’s cheaper.

What do you think?

  Stuartli 16:15 07 Jul 2007

Did you get this in writing?

  Smiler 16:49 07 Jul 2007

You should have walked out and gone to Comet.

  Forum Editor 17:14 07 Jul 2007

but John Lewis used to do all price-match checks by sending someone out to the other shop, so he/she could actually see the price being displayed.

If they do still do it that would account for the delay, but I don't see how they could possibly keep pace with it all using that method. They have to check somehow, and perhaps someone knows how it's done.

  Sic 17:16 07 Jul 2007

I'm rather confused, why did you not get the item from comet online for £30 quid less? Or have i missed something?

  wjrt 17:58 07 Jul 2007

john lewis offer a rwo year guarantee free and are a well respected company. do a search for comet here and you will find that if anything goes wrong they refer you to the manufacturer

  spuds 18:05 07 Jul 2007

A number of companies have stopped Price Matching, Argos is now one of them. PC World and Currys still do, providing you show some form of evidence like a printout, but it as to be a 'shop' price and not 'web exclusive'. They then make a simple telephone call check confirming that the seller as stock instantly available at the price stated. If the reply is yes to available stock and price, then no problem (did it the other day)they will price march.

  Johnnie_M 18:17 07 Jul 2007

I am a Partner in a John Lewis store, I would just like to assure you that we will always honour our never knowingly undersold policy however, when there are a huge amount of undersales (thanks to sites such as AVForums) being processed we cannot jump the queue when there are others ahead of yourself and need to follow policy on this, there are Partners specifically paid to check prices in other retailer's stores.

We sometimes have difficulty getting the correct information from other retailers hence the reason there is someone to go and specifically check the item, in the past we have called these companies only to be told it isn't stocked or it isn't the same price etc, which causes further friction as this delays the price being checked.

There is no risk factor with the buy now and get refund later, as long as the information is correct with the other retailer and that they have stock, there is nothing to worry about.

It can sometimes be a small inconvenience and I do apologise for that.

  Stuartli 19:44 07 Jul 2007

My best mate is one of the "other retailers" and quickly got wise a long time ago to telephone calls asking about products, current price and whether they were in stock....:-)

  shaduf 19:55 07 Jul 2007


You are quite correct. The extra years guarantee is the incentive for me. Who wouldn’t prefer to buy from John Lewis as opposed to Comet if the price difference was marginal.

It all struck me as so bizarre. I was served by a mature saleman who clearly was very competent. I asked him if the HP would play Ram discs as I had not been able to previously ascertain that. He didn’t know and called over an equally competent colleague. There was no shortage of capable staff but the sale nearly fell through because JL need three days to check a simple fact. I gave them a printout of the Comet page for the item which says quite clearly internet price £899.99, shop price £929.99. The printout gives the date and the page address. They could check the validity of that page in seconds.


Thanks for your comments. I have the highest regard for John Lewis and I am sure it will all come right in the end.

  spuds 21:30 07 Jul 2007

But why should it take three days, especially if you are seeking an item urgently. In the case I highlighted, the shop assistant simply checked the in-store screen for information (possibly discounts and stock availability elsewhere?), checked the print-out that I produced, and made a simple telephone call. Within a period of ten minutes or so, I was on my way with a price matched and paid for item.

I like most people, use many large retailers. Every time I make a face to face purchase, I nearly always ask about discounts and promotional offers. Its surprising how a number of stores will still give extra discounts or extra incentives on certain goods, if asked.

On one particular purchase, I was offered a store card which provided a £20.00 price reduction for making an new application for the card, plus an interest free period on the card. The application was approved within minutes, with the result that I had an instant £20.00 off the item. Due to the 'over £300.00' purchase price, I was offered an interest free period of 6 months to pay the balance. Only ever used the card twice in two years, at good savings and convenience for myself.

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