Parents have accused Argos of fiddling the price of ‘bargain’ toys in a move that will put up the cost of Christmas.
The retail giant, which is now owned by Sainsbury’s, has launched a three for two promotion on toys.
It is part of a wider price war across the high street and internet designed to attract early Christmas shoppers.
However, customers are reporting that overnight Argos hiked the price of many of the most popular toys included in the three for two deal.
Parents have accused Argos of fiddling the price of ‘bargain’ toys, by putting the cost up and then adding them to its 3 for 2 promotion
Furious customers have taken to the Argos Facebook page to complain and post details of many similar examples
As a result, parents buying a collection of items to put under the tree could end up paying more.
For example, on the day before the promotion began, the price of a Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn chair was £26.99; a Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Cookie Shape Surprise was £10.99 and a Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Counting with Puppy book was £10.99. Together this came to £48.97.
Once the three for two deal went live, the price of the chair went up to now £39.99 and the shape surprise toy to £19.99. The puppy book remained at a headline price of £10.99 but was included for free.
The net effect of these changes was to put up the price of these three toys to £59.98, which is £11.01 more than before the promotion launched.
Furious customers have taken to the Argos Facebook page to complain and post details of many similar examples.
One pointed out how the price of a Fisher-Price Imaginext Batcave, which was originally advertised at £44.99 went up to £69.99.
Customers are reporting that overnight Argos hiked the price of many of the most popular toys included in the three for two deal
Another complained how a Fisher-Price Imaginext playset of Gotham City Jail from Batman went up from £14.99 to £34.99.
A Disney ride along toy styled on the company’s hit film Frozen went up from £19.99 to £39.99. And a Fisher-Price Princess Mummy Stroll Along Musical Walker went up from £29.99 to £39.99. A Paw Patrol Patroller went up from £59.99 to £64.99.
One customer complained: ‘It’s a massive con!!!
‘Went on (website) a few days ago to screen shot some ideas for my son’s Xmas presents. Went on today to purchase them and the prices had gone up.
Parents buying a collection of items to put under the tree could end up paying more
‘Absolutely disgusting…will NEVER be buying from Argos again and will be telling everyone about the con artists trying to scam poor innocent people. As if Xmas isn’t already expensive enough!! Disgusting.’
Another wrote: ‘With the jump in prices for the 3 for 2 sale I will not be spending one penny of my money in Argos for Christmas.
‘Hiking prices so you can make a quick buck is disgusting. In case you haven’t noticed there’s still a recession on and people count on sales to buy for home and family. You’ve just lost a customer for good now.’
A third said: ‘This is shocking, how can you get away with these increases? People are paying more on 3 for 2 than they would if they paid for all 3 yesterday, how is this morally acceptable?’
Argos customer service staff explained the changes, saying: ‘Our prices change from time to time and only a tiny percentage of products included in our 3 for 2 offer increased in price today.’
Consumer expert Helen Dewdney, who runs The Complaining Cow website, said: ‘While we all understand that prices change, it would appear that there are many examples of prices increasing literally overnight.
‘It seems from these examples that many were not in any kind of offer before and certainly numerous customers are saying that they have been misled.
‘With the increase of the use of social media, more and more people are sharing their experiences and sharing intelligence! So companies have got to treat customers better if they want to retain loyalty.’
One parent complained how a Fisher-Price Imaginext playset of Gotham City Jail from Batman went up from £14.99 to £34.99