Asda bread


What’s worse: being mistakenly charged $750 for a loaf of bread, or actually paying $750 for a loaf of bread without batting an eye? Not bread for billionaires, mind you, flecked with gold or anything – we’re just talking plain old wheat bread.

That will be $750, please.

One unsuspecting grocery shopper has belatedly discovered that’s what he paid for his loaf last week. And now the Walmart-owned supermarket that charged him a small fortune for his small purchase, is apologizing.

37-year-old John Brown of Heath Town, England was in a hurry when he scanned his eggs, jam and two loaves of bread through the self-checkout at his local Asda supermarket last Monday. He says he didn’t pay attention to the prices as he scanned his items, and when he glanced at his total while swiping his debit card, he thought £4.53 looked about right. So he grabbed his bags, stuffed the receipt into his pocket and went on his way.

Except the total wasn’t £4.53, it was £453 – without the decimal point. That’s just shy of $750 in U.S. currency.

And Asda, a British subsidiary of “low price leader” Walmart, almost got away with it. No one at the store seemed to notice anything peculiar about the unusually large transaction – processed through a self-checkout, no less. And it wasn’t until three full days later that Brown began to suspect something was wrong. He tried to withdraw some money from an ATM, and his transaction was denied for lack of funds.


Thankfully, he still had his Asda receipt. Upon closer inspection, he saw that the jam cost him £1, the eggs £1.50, one loaf of bread was a mere 69p, and the other was a whopping £450.

You’ve heard of “buy one, get one for 50% off”? This was more like “buy one, get one for 65,217% more”!

The warehouse worker called it “the most expensive grocery shop I have ever done in my entire life.”

An Asda spokesperson, stating the obvious, said “a system glitch meant that the bread was scanned at the wrong price.” Brown has been given an unspecified “gesture of goodwill to treat himself on his next visit,” plus a refund for his entire purchase.

So it didn’t turn out so bad in the end – Brown ended up with enough free food to make several sandwiches, and he has a memorable story to tell. But then, Asda competitor Tesco has a “double the difference” guarantee. “In the unlikely event that we charge you more than what is advertised,” Tesco promises, “please visit our Customer Service Desk with your receipt for a double the difference refund.”

That means a $750 loaf of bread could have earned Brown a cool $1,500 cash at Tesco. Maybe Brown should consider switching stores – a refund and a “gesture of goodwill” is nice, but it’s no match for double your money back. Who needs extreme couponing when a mere loaf of bread can bring in “bread” like that?

Image source: Dominic’s pics

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