Debenhams’ Black Friday discounts = dodgy dealings and PR disasterama

I’ve said it before and I will say it again.

Oh yes I will.

What is the point of having a blog if you can’t have a moan?

UK department store Debenhams are giving 20% off lots of items because it is Black Friday and – if you have a Debenhams credit card, as I do – you get an extra 10% off this week with a SAVE AN EXTRA 10% voucher.

Yippee!! You might think.

Debenhams’ card voucher

But do you get an extra 10% off?

Well, no you don’t.

For the sake of easy mathematics…

If you buy something with a display price of, say, £100 and have 20% + 10% off, you might expect to pay £70.

Not at Debenhams.

Because the “extra 10% off” is actually off the 80% price after the 20% has been deducted.

So, in fact, you don’t get a 20% + 10% reduction off the original price. You get a 20% + 8% reductiion.

This is all perfectly legal because, on the back of the voucher on line 8 of the small print (line 12 of 15, if I’m being pedantic) it says: “An extra 10% will be deducted at the till after any relevant discount is applied.”

The back of Debenhams’ card voucher

The back of Debenhams’ dark and dodgy discount voucher

It does not make any earth-shattering financial difference, really.

But it does mean that Debenhams’ attempt to court a good PR image turns into the PR image of a dodgy second-hand car dealer.

Black marks for Debenhams on Black Friday.


Filed under Consumer Affairs, PR

2 responses to “Debenhams’ Black Friday discounts = dodgy dealings and PR disasterama

  1. Owen Morgan

    Sounds like they’re dancing on the edge of the law- what they are doing might be illegal and should be reported to the Office of Fair Trading. I know of no other chainstore that does this- I live in Wales’s Cynon Valley, so of course there’d not be an upmarket store like Debenhams down here, but Tesco are participating and they don’t do anything like this. I hope Argos take part as well, as I need a new TV!!

  2. Anna

    You should come to Canada and get a Shoppers Drug Mart (chemist shop) card. You get to accumulate points each time you shop, which eventually can be redeemed for discounts. There are special days when you get double or triple the points, called Redemption Days !

    They also hold monthly Seniors Days, when seniors get everything for twenty per cent off plus free coffee and the chance to socialise with other seniors picking up their medications.

    You only have to be 55 years old to be a senior.

    On the downtown east side you get to be a senior when you are forty years old because the life expectancy there is only about 45. They might have to lower the age further because of the fentanyl crisis. 600 hundred people have died from overdoses in Vancouver this year and pop up supervised injection tents have opened in the alleyways downtown. They don’t have a discount card for those but you get free narcan (antidote) if you overdose . Emergency services have been very busy, sometimes reviving the same person three times a week or more.

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