John Lewis changes Never Knowingly Undersold Which? raps John Lewis price promise loophole

07 February 2011

John Lewis logo

Shoppers prefer John Lewis for toiletries and cosmetics

John Lewis has fundamentally changed its Never Knowingly Undersold price promise and made it difficult for consumers to claim a refund if they find an item they bought at John Lewis was cheaper elsewhere.

The shop chain now requires you to match the service and length of guarantees offered by competitors - making the price promise more complex than a comparison of price. 

Logos advertising the policy now read 'Never Knowingly Undersold on quality, on price, on service.'


For electrical products, this makes it almost impossible to claim a refund, as John Lewis usually offers at least a two-year guarantee on these, while most rivals, such as Argos, usually offer a one-year guarantee.

John Lewis is a regular favourite in Which? surveys of the best places to buy electrical appliances. Which? feels customers will feel frustrated by this change, and that it should have been more clearly flagged to shoppers.

John Lewis price promise online

John Lewis extended Never Knowingly Undersold to its online store in September, which is believed to be when the company also added 'on quality, on price, on service' to its price promise. At the time, the policy stated that it would only compare with online shops that also had a physical presence, such as Comet and Currys, excluding online-only stores known for value such as Amazon.

Which? shopping expert Sarah Dennis said: 'Customers would quite naturally expect any price matching policy to relate to the up-front cost of a product, excluding the value of added extras such as guarantees. As such, we feel that the amended policy will lead to frustration for many shoppers.'

If you have a view on the changes to the price guarantee, let us know on Which? Conversation.

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