The Money Shot – 16th March 2012

Covered mag, presented by
  • | by Kristian Dando


Retail behemoth Tesco has often faced accusations of mercilessly undercutting other traders. But even the massive buying power of Britain’s largest private sector employer couldn’t possibly offer a brand-spanking new Apple iPad for under £50, could it?

Well, on Tuesday, eagle-eyed shoppers from the online bargain-hunting community HotUKDeals detected a glitch on the supermarket's website which mistakenly offered the new iPad Wi-Fi 4G 64GB for the deal-icious price of just £49.99. To put that in perspective, the same item is now available on the retail giant’s website at its correct price of a cool £659. Members of the online community duly went doolally after being informed of the error by member 'beerglass007', and proceeded to fill their boots.

“Back of the net!” exclaimed 'jacksterJDM' with glee, while 'Collectorcol' insightfully added: “c*ck up of the year? May as well order a few.” Not to be outdone, 'Poker2009' admitted: “I have ordered 20.”

Sadly, HotUKDeals members have received an email from Tesco saying that the company won’t be honouring the deal. “Unfortunately, there was an error in the price at the time that you placed your order, and as a result we have had to cancel your order. Please note any other additional items in your order will also have been cancelled,” pooh-poohed the retailer’s customer service team.

“Please refer to our Tesco Direct Terms and Conditions for further details of our order acceptance policy. If you would like to re-order the IPAD, on the official launch date on Friday 16th March it will be available on our website at the correct price £659.”

However, a precedent was set in a similar scenario a few months ago when Marks & Spencer honoured a glitch which offered customers a gargantuan flatscreen 3D telly at a knockdown price, and the inevitable iPetitions and Facebook campaigns are already gathering steam. Don’t be surprised if this one runs and runs…

Quote of the week

“’It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off.”

Greg Smith, a former worker at banking giant Goldman Sachs gives a rather unflattering kiss-off to his erstwhile employers.

Playing FTSE

How did you spend your youth? Maybe you spent long, halcyon days scrumping apples, playing knock-down ginger and indulging in a bit of casual ‘happy slapping’? Or perhaps you were more the indoorsy-type , more than content to lose themselves in a book or those torn-up magazines you found in a hedge?

 (Maybe that was just The Money Shot.) Chances are that you didn’t spend much of your youth learning about structured products, hedge funds and liquidity in emerging markets. Well, if only you’d waited a few years, you might well have had the chance. Piggybank Fantasy Stock Exchange allows kids aged 7-12 to master the investment markets, and gain a good grounding in financial knowledge in the process. Thankfully, the site appears to refrain from giving any budding Gordon Geckos or Nick Leesons from any unpleasant ‘Greed Is Good’ mantras.

Now, while we envisage that the organisers of the game might have something of an uphill battle wrenching Britain’s ‘yoof’ from the more instantaneous gratification offered by Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, any attempts to get young people more au fait with financial issues has to be applauded. After all, if the statistic that 71 per cent of 16-18 year olds didn’t have the foggiest what ‘APR’ means is to believed, we may well end up with a generation of financially illiterate people entering maturity soon. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t teach them the more nefarious practices of city boys and girls alluded to above. And be sure to start asking serious questions if your youngest starts showing an interest in wearing striped shits and brace combos and talking loudly about "smashing his targets" all of sudden.

News in brief

British Gas intends to make like the Invisible Man and get ‘more transparent’ with its tariffs.

Savers are still ‘at risk’ of being mis-sold overly complex products, according to the Financial Services Authority.

Cameras on garage forecourts will prevent uninsured or untaxed from drivers from filling up, if plans from Downing Street go ahead.

On News this week

Swingin’ hepcat Dave Jenkins put together this useful guide for prospective feline fanciers.

Rachel England served up this handy guide of when to scrimp and when to splurge on everyday household items.

Kristian Dando had a rummage around Britain’s ‘typical’ shopping basket.

Plenty of drivers see themselves switching to telematics car insurance soon, if this research we did is anything to go by.

You lot disclosed what bugs your most about other motorists.

And finally…

There’s no shortage of fun and japes to be had in Brighton of a weekend. But if you've somehow exhausted all your options in the charming seaside resort on the Sussex coast, you could take one of the Brighton & Hove Coach Company’s tantalising tours of the notoriously-gridlocked M25 motorway.

Departing from Worthing, and picking up in Brighton & Hove on its merry way, the tour takes in such marvels as Heathrow Terminal 5 and Queen Elizabeth Bridge at Dartford. Whether or not the bus goes clockwise or anticlockwise round the motorway is decided on a toss of a coin.

You certainly can't dispute that you get a lot of tour for your money – 117 fun-packed miles for your £15, not including the journey to and from the coast onto the London orbital motorway. “It (the tour) goes through six home counties and you get a whole taste of the variety of London,” plugged company spokesman Roger French eagerly.

Meanwhile, AA president Edmund King was less enthusiastic. “I'm not sure regular M25ers will welcome the addition of coach loads of tourists gawping at their misfortune,” he grumbled.

Join us next week for another thrilling instalment of THE MONEY SHOT. In the meantime, why not email the editor with your letters, gripes and grumbles.