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‘My M&S beauty box wasn’t what was pictured – I feel duped’

What you can do when the advert doesn't match the reality

‘My M&S beauty box wasn’t what was pictured – I feel duped’

Do you have an issue you need to put right? Which? is here to help get your consumer problems sorted. 

Maureen Flood
Maureen Flood

Dear Which?,

As a savvy, careful shopper I decided to treat myself to what seemed like a fantastic offer on a beauty box when shopping in Marks & Spencer.

The big in-store promotional poster pictured the box surrounded by 11 items. The range of branded beauty products on the poster included a moisturising mask, hair conditioner, night cream, eyeliner, mascara and wrinkle repair cream.

Please ask yourself what would be your expectation on buying this box?

My expectation was these were the goods in the box.

When I got home I counted the products and realised one was missing: the star act – the anti-wrinkle cream.

I returned to M&S (annoyingly, as I was timid about shopping during Covid). 

The manager clearly had other similar experiences as she turned the box over and in a small font it had a one line comment saying you get 10 products.

But there were 11 products in the picture.

Who counts the products when you see the big poster? You assume what’s on the picture is actually IN the box!

I feel duped and really disappointed in M&S.

Will I ever trust them again?

Maureen Flood

Put to rights

Ellie Simmonds, Which? retail expert, says: 

You saw a picture of the beauty box and its contents – which included the wrinkle cream. But the reality on opening the box, which was on offer to customers for £20, as long as they spent £30 or more on clothing, home and beauty products, was that the wrinkle cream was missing. No wonder you felt annoyed, Maureen.

We followed this up with M&S.

A spokesperson told us the picture on the promotional poster advertising the beauty box had 11 items because one of the items was photographed outside of its box, showing both the nail cream and the nail buffer. M&S also told us one of the 10 products was a Prai beauty skin “bonus” product – meaning customers would receive either the gold wrinkle repair cream (worth £21), which was the one Maureen wanted and was in the picture, or the serum (worth £19) which was not pictured.

But the M&S spokesperson admitted this should have been clearer and confirmed the poster used to promote the box would be changed. M&S also sent Maureen the missing wrinkle repair cream as a gesture of goodwill.

The spokesperson said: ‘We know customers love our beauty boxes and we always try and put in our most popular products. We have taken on board the customer’s feedback and will make sure details on the bonus product are clearer in next season’s packaging and images.’

Need to know

  • All products must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
  • If you want to make a claim under the Consumer Rights Act, you have several possible ways of resolving your issue, depending on the circumstances and on how you want the retailer to remedy the situation.
  • Your rights under the Consumer Rights Act are against the retailer – the company that sold you the product – not the manufacturer, so you must take any claim to the retailer. 

Get in touch. If you’ve got a consumer rights problem you need put right, email us at yourstory@which.co.uk

Please be aware that we cannot help with, or respond to every email that we receive. The inbox is monitored periodically during office hours, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.

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