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As Tesco come under fire for maintaining signs on marked up items when the discount was out of date, consumer law expert Danielle Clements of Gorvins solicitors has warned customers they don`t have a claim for a refund unless money changes hands.

Her comments follow an investigation by BBC Inside Out which revealed  33 out of 55 stores  secretly filmed by the programme were short changing customers by marking items up as on offer on the shelf – only for the discount to not be applied at the till because it was out of date.

Said Danielle: `Although it can be annoying and frustrating, as a customer, your contract with a supermarket isn`t completed until you hand the money over at the till. You can bring  the discrepancy  to the attention of the cashier. But they don`t have to honour  the ticket price, just as you don`t have to buy the goods. She added that in that situation however, a lot of chains will honour the price on the shelves and then make sure it is correct for next customer.

The only time there is legal recourse to the store is  if you have paid, and got a  receipt. Then you can bring it to the store`s attention and they should refund the difference.`

Although Tesco employs teams of people to ensure its prices are up to date BBC Inside Out reporter Jonathan Gibson found multi-buy deals still being advertised days, weeks – and in some cases months – after the deductions were no longer being applied at the till.  In every case when prompted about the discrepancy, Tesco staff honoured the offer. However, even after complaining to staff some stores still failed to remove out-of-date labels on the shelves. In the worst case, staff at a Tesco Express outlet in Birmingham repeatedly failed to remove labels showing produce as on offer when it no longer was. It was still on display a month after the BBC reporter first pointed it out.

A Tesco Spokesperson said “We take great care to deliver clear and accurate labels for our customers so they can make informed decisions on the products they buy. We are disappointed that errors occurred and will be working with the stores involved to reinforce our responsibilities to our customers”.Tesco says it will be double checking the accuracy of the price labels at all its stores as a result of the BBC’s investigation. The company runs more than 3,500 stores across the UK.

You can listen to the radio show here