A disgruntled shopper has called out Bunnings for refusing to honour the company's promise to beat competitors' prices by 10 per cent, claiming a staff member "flat-out refused" her request to do so.
The customer said she was in the process of price matching online but when she went in store to speed up the purchase rather than wait for an invoice to be sent, a staffer wouldn't accept it.
The woman said she was buying dog food that Bunnings had priced at $84, while the same item was going for $64 at a nearby pet store in Wollongong, NSW, and met all the criteria for price beating.
"I didn't even get a chance to finish my sentence before she cut me off, saying no," the customer vented on Facebook. "The worker flat-out refused..." she claimed.
After leaving the store empty handed, the woman said she'd since received the online invoice from Bunnings and finally managed to purchase the dog food at the lower price.
Not an isolated incident
The Facebook post prompted several other customers to share their own dissatisfaction with the hardware giant's advertised price policy. "Bunnings would not beat a price I showed them for a Karcher product. I emailed them last December... still waiting on a reply," shared one unhappy customer, adding: "Their price beat guarantee is non existent."
"I gave up trying, I've never had them price match for me," commented another user. "Bunnings are dodgy like this, false advertising. They price match when they source products that no one else does so there is no way to price match," lamented someone else.
Price policy confusion
Most commenters were confused about the details of the policy, with many querying whether it applies in-store only, if it can be applied to competing retailers' sale items, and if it includes other Bunnings stores.
In one incident last month, a customer said a product was advertised at two different stores with a nearly $38 price discrepancy. Searching online, the shopper found a waterproofing agent for $179 at the Smithfield Warehouse and $216.37 at the McGraths Hill branch, but said his local Bunnings wouldn't beat the lower cost. However he revealed that another branch 20 minutes away did adhere to the price match promise for the product.
Bunnings clarifies policy
Speaking to Yahoo News, director of merchandise for Bunnings, Jen Tucker, said; "Our lowest prices policy means that if you find a competitor's lower price (including GST and delivery charges) on the same in-stock item, we'll beat it by 10 per cent. This excludes trade quotes, stock liquidations, commercial quantities, and items sold by other Bunnings Group businesses and Bunnings Marketplace."
According to the Bunnings website, the lowest prices policy can be used both online and in-store.
"On this occasion it seems there was a miscommunication at the store, however we are happy to read that the customer was able to exercise our price beat guarantee with our online customer service team," Ms Tucker said. "We will continue to support our team with on-going training to help them deliver the best experience for our customers."
Bunnings also confirmed that depending on where the competitor is located and the method of sale (bricks and mortar or online), an item's price will be updated at a local, state or national level.
Staff should 'apply common sense'
Regarding price discrepancies between stores, Ms Tucker said pricing is split into three retail regions: metro, regional and remote, and each region can be affected by the costs incurred for freight and transport.
"We encourage our team members, when approached by customers who've experienced variations in pricing of this nature, to apply common sense to the specific circumstances and to try to err in favour of the customer," Ms Tucker added.
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