An Open Letter to Big Retailers

H&M organic cotton leggings tagsAn Open Letter to Big Retailers, 

I’m not a massive fan of going shopping in the traditional sense, I like to do things differently to most folk. My kids clothes mainly come in the form of hand me downs because they outgrow them so fast and it seems insane to not take the freebies when they’re offered. I buy most of my own clothes from charity shops, which are fab from an eco perspective if you ask me. Surely it’s much kinder to the environment to buy clothes second hand than from cheap shops where they are made from dubious materials and produced in a questionable manner?

Of course every now and then there are exceptions to the rule. Such as my 3yo daughter starting gymnastics and needing plain black leggings, so I popped into H&M last Sunday morning. I don’t mind buying the odd item from them, because their organic cotton conscious range is amazing. I was happy to see their plain 95% organic leggings were also on offer, so I picked up two pairs for 3yo and one for her big sister. 

H&M non-organic cotton leggingsAfter I had washed the leggings and was hanging them out to dry, I noticed that they were from the basics range, and not labelled as organic cotton. Upon further inspection of my daughters’ wardrobes, I discovered that lots of the H&M supposed organic cotton clothing that I’ve bought in the past does not say that it is made from organic cotton on the inside labels.

Excuse my language but WTF? Surely if it’s made from organic cotton then you’d want to shout it from the rooftops? I’d like to state that I also own clothing that does clearly state it’s from the H&M Conscious Collection, so perhaps H&M might like to enlighten me as to why they don’t label all their clothes appropriately. As a severely sleep deprived mum of three, I’m just plain confused right about now. 

naughty Tesco - cheap tricks

In the same shopping trip I popped into Tesco to buy my son a little snack for the train journey home. I’ll be honest here, I never usually shop at Tesco, but I only had ten minutes to buy said snack then catch the train so my options were limited. I was really appalled to see the display of Food Doctor bars in the photo.  They had filled the space where the heavily reduced bars were supposed to be with full priced bars. I had realised what was going on before actually purchasing one of these, however, when I got home and checked my receipt I discovered that I had been over charged for the snack I did buy. 

naughty Tesco - cheap tricksMy dried mango was priced £1 on the shelf, yet I was charged £1.50 for it. As you can imagine, for a non-Tesco shopper, this has just reinforced my good decision to not shop at Tesco.

All in all it wasn’t a very successful shopping trip, and these two experiences one after the other have left a rather sour taste in my mouth. I’m now wondering how many other little tricks like these are pulled throughout big retail stores on a daily basis? 

Yours sincerely,

wpid-sharewithmepic.jpg PoCoLo




WotW*my word this week is DISAPPOINTED because neither H&M nor Tesco have responded to my letter 🙁   


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43 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Big Retailers

  1. It’s so annoying when what you’ve bought is not what you think you’ve bought. It really makes for an angry customer who feels cheated and deceived.

    I wonder if it’ll make any difference going into the Tesco and H&M you shopped at and speaking with their managers.

    I learnt form an Oprah show years ago to always check my shopping receipt before leaving the store – a case of ‘buyers beware’.

    All the best in getting a response from each company.

    By the way, i agree with you about recycling and reusing; I do the same, so much cheaper and environmentally friendly. 🙂 #PoCoLo

  2. Thanks so much Clare, sorry you’ve been in this position too. I’ve had radio silence back so far, doesn’t feel like they are taking it very seriously 🙁

  3. That’s so cheeky, as if you aren’t going to notice that there is food missing from your order! Shocking to think what they get away with 🙁 x

  4. Shocking how big retailers treat customers, yet we keep going back (I hate shopping in Tesco and will avoid if I can). I think we as consumers need to start teaching these retailers by walking away until they improve their attitude to people.

  5. It really does annoy me that larger retailers think they can get away with pretty much anything. In a similar vein, the last 3 trips Ross has made to KFC has meant that there has been at least one item missing every single time! I wish they would take more care. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

  6. Like others who have commented, I have been caught out by the misleading shelf description/pricing situation. It seems that this is happening to far too many of us! I do hope that you get a response to your complaints. Retailers need to listen and respond to customer feedback – good and bad. #PoCoLo

  7. That’s so wrong of both of these stores. Good on you for blogging about it. I tweeted Tesco about an issue I had and found that quite effective as obviously it’s a more public space and they were quite quick to address it. I wonder if it is store policy to fill the gaps where sale items should be with full-price ones to mislead shoppers? #allaboutyou

  8. This kind of stuff is infuriating. It really does leave a sour taste in your mouth, particularly as you know that nobody in these companies really gives a flying toss about people who take the trouble to complain here and there.

    I’ll admit that I do like H&M for my clothes as well as the kids’. They do some plain styles in all colours, so I can minimise gender stereotyping by purchasing some pink items for my sons in tracksuit bottoms and hoodies, etc.

    But you’re right. Advertising as organic cotton, but then not really being organic cotton is bang out of order. I’m going to go and check some of the tracksuit bottoms that the boys have, that I bought because they were supposedly made from organic cotton. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, and I totally agree with you! x

  9. Ahh Tesco are very sneaky at times…I do shop with them but always pay attention to what I buy and how much it costs…Even online they try their tricks….Only last week there 1kg of butter on special offer at £2 something but 2 500g’s were only £1 each…

  10. OH dear they really should label accordingly. I hate that they have sales and when the sale items run out they stick whatever they want in that space and we never notice usually. or that’s what they are hoping. I do love Tesco and it’s about the only one near us and they are taking over the world because we have about 10 within walking distance I swear. But I notice other shops do this too. Scamming. lol Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. Have a great weekend. #sharewithme

  11. I’m shocked at H&M but I’m not surprised at Tescos. I spend hours online with different supermarkets trying to get our shopping bill as low as possible. I have also noticed in store that some things are on offer and it isn’t really pointed out very well, especially if they are very good deals x

  12. Argh! How annoying, and more than a little bit naughty. I am so fed up with supermarkets at times, we kept finding the same three boxes of a baby food snack in the shelf at our local supermarket – that were out of date, we complained because we got home and found it was more than a month out of date, (I usually check everything so not sure how that got through) and then we kept finding the same three boxes (same date, and one had a slightly mashed corner) put out on the shelves the next week, even though we had watched them being removed the previous week! Outrageous!!

  13. I have been burned very often by mispriced food in supermarkets. I never notice until I get home and look at the receipt (I write down everything we spend but I always do this at the end of the day). x


  14. I’m going to have to go and check all of Arthur’s H&M bits now… Like you I think the Conscious range is great, really good for basic bits that aren’t too costly for me or the planet. But if they’re not actually organic cotton then that’s outrageous! Charity shops and independent businesses all the way I reckon… Xx

  15. Oh dear, that is VERY poor. I am one of the culprits who does shop in Tesco. Living in a village means that if I were to visit individual shops for all my thing (which I would love to do) would cost a small fortune. I do get our meat from our local farm shop and our eggs from a local farm, but Im afraid everything else is delivered by Tesco most weeks… I find shopping on line much easier because you can’t be so distracted but I am sure they don’t put offers on there that are on in the shop. Hey ho!

  16. It’s shocking at how often this happens and across a wide range of stores – it happens regularly in my local Marks Simply Food; products on the wrong shelves as you’ve pointed out, offers that aren’t offers and confusing labelling. No wonder large retailers are large, and they seem to forget that if we limit our spending with them they won’t be so large after all. Now I keep a mental note of prices and offers in my basket so i can check they’ve charged me correctly and have been known to walk out and leave my shopping if they haven’t (and I haven’t paid) which leaves the cashier flummoxed and if I’m honest is a real pain if I needed milk but sometimes that’s the only option left.

    Oh dear this turned into a bit of a rant, I’m glad im not alone feeling like this and naughty retailers for not responding. Hope they do, but more importantly I hope they sort this out across the board…

    Happy weekend 🙂 #wotw

  17. Not surprised you’re disappointed, very underhand!
    I always watch my shopping going through and any offers and three times in a week, an offer hasn’t gone through. Customer services had the same excuse “oh, it must have been missed at the tills” … Hmmmm.

  18. That’s really shocking, like you say you would expect them to be really making a point of it being organic cotton if it is and it seems like a deliberate attempt to mislead buyers. Shame on H&M xx

  19. Great post, I also occasionally shop at H&M for Freya for the same reasons. I’m off to check her labels now. I hope you hear back from both stores, I’d be interested in their response.

  20. Very sneaky and I’ve fallen for the wrong price on the shelf trick as well. It puts you off from going to the big stores sometimes. We like Aldi (but sure this could end up going the same way if not careful!) Great post xxx #allaboutyou

  21. I hate mistakes like that! Especially when trying to stick to a budget with 5 kids. We went clothes shopping a couple days ago and I was keeping track of everything that went into the cart and when we got to the register luckily I was watching the guy like a hawk cause sure enough with all the clothes I had put on the counter he got confused with his piles and almost rang up one pile twice…for someone who wouldn’t have been paying attention …say a Kardashian…although I highly doubt they shop at TJMaxx…anywho that would be quite a benefit for the store.

  22. I have tweeted both Tesco and H&M, so we shall see. I’ve only just posted this, and added it to Facebook so it must have been someone else’s. Very cheap tricks! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  23. Yes Reneé! I noticed this some time ago and have stopped shopping at H and M. I felt rather cheated and duped. Used to buy quite a bit from there for my two but these tricks have put me off all together – not sure if it’s organic cotton or not – then it got me thinking about whether they’re actually using organic dyes with organic cotton, etc. ??????

  24. It was probably the same program that put me off Tesco for life too Denise! I was so annoyed when I realised I’d been over charged on the mango!

    Second hand clothes rule 🙂

  25. Oooh what a naughty trick from Tesco. I remember Watchdog running a campaign about the way Tesco make it look like you are making big savings when you are not – certainly when I do a full basket shop it doesn’t feel much cheaper than eg Waitrose.

    I vaguely remember Tesco (was it Tesco?) throwing people out of stores for taking pictures of the misleading price labels.

    You are dead right about the value of second hand clothes. I’m right with you.

  26. You should try tweeting them- I’ve heard social media is a good way to make a fuss and get noticed.

    In fact has your pic been on Facebook? I’m sure I’ve seen it or maybe it was on a blog hop?

    I agree big retailers can be very sneaky, like you I prefer charity shops- and my beloved Lidl!

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