NCA – Crowing over pointless Tesco prosecution

Our fantastically useless National Consumer Agency strikes again. Today, they told us how they’d secured a prosecution against Tesco Ireland (the Dundrum store).

Excellent, they’re looking after our interests. The very naughty “Tesco Ireland was convicted in respect of failing to display the selling price of two items: twin pack tissues and toilet tissues”.

Telling us how great they are, in response to the prosecution, the NCA Chief Executive Ann Fitzgerald told us:

“Retailers must recognise that they have a duty of care to their customers. Without consumers they would not be in business. It is incumbent on them, therefore, to ensure that customers should know the correct prices of all products before going to the checkout.

“Consumers have a legal right to this so they can make an informed choice on whether to buy in that particular store or go elsewhere.”

And to show how successful the prosecution will be in teaching the very bold Tesco their lesson, the fine imposed was €1500. Technically, this was for 1 offence, but the presiding judge took account of the other 26 counts before him.

So, in reality, Tesco Ireland was fined about €55 for each instance of non-display of prices. Last year, the Tesco Ireland group made €2.7bn in revenues in Ireland (sub needed). If Tesco Ireland has about 100 stores at present, then Dundrum could account for €27m of that, though it’s likely to be much larger.

The fine imposed could therefore be about 0.00556% of revenues for the Dundrum store – €1500 out of €27m is unlikely to make them think once, never mind twice.

Well done NCA, that’ll teach them!

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