WH Smith is slammed for selling an 80p tube of Colgate toothpaste in hospital shop for EIGHT POUNDS
- WH Smith hiked up prices at the shop in Pinderfields General Hospital, Wakefield
- The same 75ml tube costs just 80p at Tesco – 898 percent cheaper, £1 in Boots
- The retailer apologised and claimed it was a ‘pricing error’ and the company would be donating the total proceeds from all 89 sales at the store to charity
WH Smith has been slammed after it was spotted selling a single tube of toothpaste in a hospital shop – for £7.99.
Critics accused the retail business of cashing in on the sick by hiking up prices at the shop in Pinderfields General Hospital in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
The same 75ml tube costs just 80p at Tesco – 898 percent cheaper – and a £1 in Boots.
It comes despite the company promising to slash prices in hospital shops in 2015 after MPs called them out on the different price tags compared to its own high street shops.
WH Smith has been slammed after it was spotted selling a single tube of toothpaste in a hospital shop – for £7.99
Marc Leaf, 45, visited the shop to buy toothpaste yesterday for his girlfriend who was being treated there, and accused the shop of ‘extortion’.
He said: ‘Everything in there is totally ridiculous.
‘A hospital is a place where people to to get better. They aren’t at their best and are usually at their most vulnerable.
‘It’s the last place they should be taken advantage of, but this price tag is just totally taking the mick out of people.
‘It’s £7.99 for a tube of toothpaste that I’ve seen for a £1 in a Home Bargains store or a pound shop.
‘When I was there, I looked around, and there are a lot of people knocking about who are less fortunate than others.
‘It’s absolutely outrageous. I went to the counter and asked the assistant ‘is this right?’ and they said it was.
‘I was gobsmacked. It’s extortion. They are cashing in on sick people who can’t go elsewhere.
‘Something needs to be done about it.
‘In the end I went for the tiny little travel size one and it was £2.69. That’s still ridiculous.’
Critics accused the retail business of cashing in on the sick by hiking up prices at the shop in Pinderfields General Hospital in Wakefield, West Yorkshire
WH Smith has 610 shops on the high street and 839 ‘travel outlets’ – shops in airports, railway stations, motorway service areas, hospitals and workplaces.
Of these, 129 are in hospitals.
The price at the hospital in Wakefield was highlighted on Twitter by a reporter at the Health Service Journal.
Responding to the tweet, one person said: ‘They’ve been warned just a couple years ago for price gouging. If that isn’t an accidental mistake then they need fined.’
Another added: ‘Please tell me this isn’t true.
‘Absolutely horrible to think the cost of a product vital to oral health is spiked because someone is unwell in a hospital.
‘This should be provided on wards regardless.’
One wrote: ‘I assume that buys you a check up and polish too for that money..’
Last month it was reported the retailer recorded a one percent fall in pre-tax profit to £82m for the six months ended February 28, while total group revenue was flat at £643m.
Marc Leaf, 45, visited the shop to buy toothpaste yesterday for his girlfriend who was being treated there, and accused the shop of ‘extortion’
The retailer – a UK franchise partner of M&S – also reported a successful trial of two WH Smith hospital stores offering an M&S food-to-go range,.
A spokesperson at the time announced plans to open six new hospital stores, including four M&S Simply Food stores in the second half of the current financial year.
WHSmith apologised and claimed it was a ‘pricing error’ and the company would be donating the total proceeds from all 89 sales at the store to charity.
A WHSmith spokeswoman said: ‘We would like to apologise to our customers for a recent pricing error in our system relating to this product.
‘While the wrong price was effective we sold a total of 89 units.
‘The total proceeds from these sales (£711) will be donated to charity. The error has been rectified and changed to the correct price of £2.49.’
Iain Brodie, general manager of facilities at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals trust said: ‘WH Smith is a national chain with outlets in our Pontefract and Pinderfields hospitals.
‘The pricing policy in their outlets is a commercial decision by WH Smith. We have however raised this matter with them.’
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