Sunday, 27 May 2012

Alpha Males, M5 frisbee and more Tesco rip-offs.

I've got one last holiday blog to do, then we are up to date.

Should you find yourself down in Devon on holiday, another place you can visit is Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur park.

We had a half price voucher for this place which we had picked up somewhere on our travels so the whole family got in for under £20, which compared well to the £30+ we spent at the Big Sheep. However I was soon pissed off when I was handed a half price voucher for the Big Sheep with my receipt, apparently these things are everywhere, as are 2 for 1 offers for most theme parks these days. I am probably therefore the only person ever to pay full price to get into the Big Sheep. Which annoys me, because as you know I pride myself in seeking out value.

More on value to come later on - so what about Combe Martin? Well it's not for the faint hearted - the hills, not only getting in and out in the car but also on the footpaths are horrendous - feels like about 1:2 in places. All the animals are good though, and they've got lions. The alpha male looked pretty hefty, apparently he's just killed off a rival to become the top dog. Good on him.

The "light show" was the lamest thing I have ever seen - a few flashing lights and lasers with a bit of Close Encounters and War of The Worlds music. I could do a better job with my starcloth.

The day before we came home, Ollie and I took a long walk up the cliff path to "Baggy Point" - now this was a long old trek, much further than I expected, and very difficult terrain but Ollie did really well and we had some quality father and son time - talking about all the things we saw on the way. Here's Ollie enjoying a well deserved biscuit as a reward for reaching the summit.

So the holiday came to an end, and we headed home, with taped on wing mirror, superglued windscreen wiper, we should get back in one piece? No. Stopping at some traffic lights shortly before joining the M5, Claire was startled by a man tapping on her window. He was from the car behind. Apparently one of our wheel trims looked like it was about to fall off.

I got out and sure enough it was very loose, so I pushed it, or rather kicked it back into place and it seemed strong enough. It had a tie round it anyway as part of the recent wheel balancing so that should be OK I thought.

Wrong - a few minutes later off it flew, past Claire's window and up into the air, like a large frisbee prior to bouncing down into the middle of the motorway and rolling along in the time honoured fashion which I'm sure you'll recognise from various car chases on TV in the past (normally just before they crash into the pile of boxes).

So just two wheel trims left now. On the plus side the mirror is still on.

So what's the latest on Tesco piss-taking offers? It really is getting ridiculous now. Here's some I spotted this week.

A pack of "Best of British" sliced beef on the end of the aisle with a Union Jack packet (cashing in for the Jubilee) - advertised as "Half Price" reduced from £3.40 to £1.70. An almost identical product (just without the union jack packaging and with a measly 20g less) is available on the main fixture where it is, and always has been £2 (available on a permanent 2 for £3 offer).

When you do the maths you can work out that the offer pack really is nothing special at all.
 BOGOF on the 2 litre Robinsons concentrated No added sugar squashes - normally retails at around £2 in Tesco (and that is its permanent price in Iceland - with a 40% extra free sized pack). However for the purposes of the promotion, Tesco hiked the price to £3.65. So you are actually paying £1.82.5 per bottle - not Buy One Get One Free at all is it - buy one at double the normal price and get another one free at double the normal price would be more appropriate. And in Iceland you could have got one for £2, with 40% extra free so it is actually better value.

BOGOF at £3.65?

A 12 pack of Walkers crisps inflated to £4.65 for a BOGOF - these normally retail in the £2.50 range.

Iceland had an 18 pack of Walkers retailing at £2.50 the same week - again, you do the Maths.

Say what you want about Iceland but at least they do not treat their customers like fools.

Apparently some of the other big chains are equally guilty of these practices. We shall have to see what happens when Sainsbury comes to town.

But right now, it just becomes more and more blatant. Did you buy any of these offers? If you did I've got to say that they've pulled a fast one on you. I reckon they are laughing their heads off in Head Office at how easily people are fooled.

It's not all doom and gloom - they do have amazing offers from time to time which really are fantastic - genuine BOGOF's from the original price and genuine half price - even Buy One Get Two Free - but people - please make sure you sort the wheat from the chaff. If we all recognise the rip-offs and stop buying into them they will stop doing it.

I think there are some people out there who will buy anything if they think it's half price. I bet if they advertised a loaf of bread at half price, reduced from £10 to £5 - there would be some idiot who would buy it as they are getting a "bargain".

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Jason xx

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