Just had a very apologetic phone call from manager of Blackwell Art and Poster Shop at 27 Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BS and had my £2 refunded. They were in the wrong, I was in the right but they are very honourable people and have put things right and if you are ever in Oxford you should visit their splendid shop.
Dear Sir / Madam
I visited your store in Oxford yesterday and bought about £40 of goods. I came away feeling I had been cheated out of £2 – a relatively small sum I concede, but I’m not the sort of person who simply lets such things go.
Let me explain the problem as follows (using prices rounded up do the nearest pound for simplicity):
If I had gone into your shop and bought 3 prints at £4 each under the “3 for 2” offer I would have paid £8, saving £4.
If I had then gone back into your shop five minutes later and bought another 3 prints at £6 each under the “3 for 2” offer I would have paid £12, saving £6.
So far so good. I would, by this time, have saved £10.
What I did yesterday, however, was (ignoring my other purchases) to buy exactly the same items as above under exactly the same offer, but all in one go. I only saved £8 - £2 less than I should have saved.
The reason (explained when I complained) is that the computer grouped my purchases thus: (£4+£4+£6) + (£6+£6+£4) and I saved 2 x £4. I was told that this policy was explicitly stated on the offer signs which explained that the cheapest item goes free.
I find your policy here misleading to the point of dishonesty. Either your computer should employ a more sophisticated (and fairer) algorithm or you should inform you customers in advance that they would be better off making separate purchases if making multiple “3 for 2” buys.
I suppose I could have taken this further within the shop, but I was too taken aback to complain further at the time. (Your staff were perfectly civil but quite convinced they were in the right.)
Upon further reflection, I feel as though I have been cheated out of £2 and I should like to have this money returned.
I look forward to hearing from you.
PS Blackwell Art and Poster Shop at 27 Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BS is a simply wonderful shop which I frequent and which I would encourage you all to visit. They should, however, refrain from these (I assume unintentionally) misleading promotions!