Every time you see any publicity for Dan Murphy, you can’t help but notice their claim that they “beat” all prices advertised by their competitors. Well….we had an Aldi brochure that clearly stated a slab of Stella would be $39.95 for a week. Halfway through the week I was at Dan Murphy; Stella was $46.99. Coming home, I managed to find the Aldi brochure (a feat in itself). By then, it was too late to return the now-opened slab of the different beer that I had bought, but I returned to the Dan Murphy store anyway. The response was along the lines of, “Yeah, they must have missed that, bring back what you bought and we’ll match the price”.
I wasn’t impressed. The staff at the store weren’t interested in correcting their price (it hadn’t happened the next day when I had another look), and there was no suggestion that this was a matter of some seriousness that ought to be referred to anyone capable of making a decision. Seemingly, there was no appreciation of the reputational damage being done or the potential implications under consumer protection legislation.
I don’t often write letters of complaint these days, but was moved to do so on this occasion. It resulted in a call from the “regional manager”, again along the lines of, “Sorry about that, the marketing department didn’t pick it up, call past the store and you can have a freebie bottle of red”.
Although we took up the offer of the bottle of wine, the episode confirms, at least in my mind, that Woolworths still has some “corporate culture” issues. Perhaps with the seemingly ever-increasing presence of house brands (although not usually identified as such) on the shelves at Dan’s, at least in relation to wines, the “price beat” concept is becoming less important? But, as yet, we haven’t taken to “house brand” beers in a big way; surely the “price beat” slogan has to be properly implemented or, if this is too hard, dropped.