Updated every Monday!   Subscribe to free weekly newsletter.

Old Navy Deceptive Pricing Case Settled

In 2019, we reported that a Washington state consumer was suing Old Navy for advertising phony discounts from artificially high regular or original prices. [See complaint.] Now, lawyers announced they have reached a tentative settlement subject to court approval. No details of the settlement were released, but some type of payment to affected shoppers is likely, along with some guidelines on future advertising of discounts.

Lawyers for the consumer really prepared for this case by tracking millions of prices on the Old Navy website for two years, and found that those items virtually never sold for the stated full, regular price. Since most merchandise at Old Navy is their own brand, the company sets its own inflated list/regular/original price on their goods thus making their current sale prices seem like bigger bargains than they really are.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Old Navy Pants

As an example from Old Navy’s website earlier this year, the crossed-out price of $34.99 allegedly was rarely if ever charged, so shoppers are being misled into believing that they will save over $22 on this item if purchased now.

We’ll post information in Consumer World on how to file a claim in the Old Navy when the settlement is finalized.

Share this story:

 


ADV
Updated every Monday!   Subscribe to free weekly newsletter.

Here We Downsize (and UP-size) Again — Spring 2021

Once again, it is time to spotlight another crop of products that are shrinking inconspicuously right in front of your eyes (and thus facilitating a sneaky price increase). And this time, we also found some products that UP-sized — giving you more for the same money!

Doritos

Eight years ago, we brought you news that Doritos had downsized its 11-3/4-ounce bags to just 11 ounces. Well, we must have missed some additional changes to its net weight in the interim because they recently dropped to 9-1/4 ounces from 9-3/4.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Doritos

The company makes it very hard to detect changes in content because the net weight statement is on the very bottom of the bag, often folded under when stocked on store shelves. Thanks to our ace downsizing spotter, Richard G., for finding this.


Nabisco Wheat Thins

James K. just alerted us to a new downsizing by Nabisco. Their family size boxes of Wheat Thins went from a nice round pound to just 14 ounces. We don’t know if the boxes remained the same size, but according to James the price stayed the same.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Nabisco Wheat Thins


Costco Paper Towels

Paper towels is one of the products that has been downsized periodically over the years and that includes store brands. Costco’s own brand was recently downsized from 160 sheets on the roll to 140. So you basically lost a roll-and-a-half from each package.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Costco paper towels


Kirkland Signature UltraClean Detergent UP-sizes

It was not all bad news at Costco, however. Their own Kirkland brand of laundry detergent got a new bottle and a new label starting in 2019. The old product was said to provide 126 loads, but the new one delivers 146. Surprise!

*MOUSE PRINT:

Kirkland detergent

But, the contents of both bottles are identical: 1.51 gallons. So what’s going on here? We checked with Costco executives and got the inside scoop. The company reformulated their detergent making it slightly more concentrated. As such, the directions on the back of the bottle say you can now use slightly less. Thanks to Bill S. for this submission.


Ocean Spray UP-sizes its 100% Juices

Last month we noted that Thomas’ English Muffins up-sized from 12 to 13 ounces in their six packs. Now Richard G. discovered that Ocean Spray is apparently standardizing its juice bottles to all be 64 ounces. This reverses their move to downsize their 100% juice varieties to just 60 ounces from 64 ounces, as we reported in 2013.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Ocean Spray upsizes

If you find a product that has been either downsized or up-sized, please send a clear picture of both the old and new one to Edgar (at symbol) MousePrint.org . Thanks.

Share this story:

 


ADV
Updated every Monday!   Subscribe to free weekly newsletter.

Lowe’s SpringFest Grill Deal Only Looked Smoking Hot

R.M. of Connecticut wrote to us last week complaining about a Lowe’s TV commercial that featured quite a deal on a Weber grill during their first ever SpringFest event.

Lowe's Weber grill

This was exactly the three-burner Weber grill she was looking for, and she knew they were normally over $500. However, R.M. discovered that $379 was not the actual sale price for this model but only by freeze-framing the commercial on her 60-inch HDTV so she could read the fine print.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Lowe's starting at

Lowe's real price

The real price of this unit was more than double the price shown on the screen, and that was only disclosed in tiniest of print for less than four seconds. The big print $379 price was actually for a lower-end unit and only for a two-burner model at that.

Under state consumer law, such as the one in Massachusetts, pictorial misrepresentations are just as deceptive as verbal ones.

No advertisement shall be used which would mislead or tend to mislead buyers or prospective buyers, through pictorial representations or in any other manner, as to the product being offered for sale.

We wrote to Lowe’s three times asking why they would run such a misleading ad, and how it might avoid similar issues in the future. The company did not respond and that says a lot.

Share this story:

 


ADV