We all know that: the price stays the same, the content or the service is reduced. Sometimes drastic. It's called cheat pack. The Hamburg consumer advice center is kind enough to make the effort and make the matter public. So again this month.
This month, the water softener "Calgon Power Pulver" from the British group Reckitt Benckiser has been awarded the title "Sham Pack of the Month" by the Hamburg Consumer Advice Center (VZHH). Because the new water softener from Calgon promises more wash loads (50 instead of 46) per pack. But the opposite is the case. According to the manufacturer's dosage recommendation, up to 42 percent more powder is now required for the same degree of hardness. The product is correspondingly up to 42 percent more expensive despite the same filling quantity of 1500 grams per box and the same price, which is around EUR 8.99 at Rossmann.
Reckitt Benckiser advertises its product with the note "UItra compacted". According to consumer advocates, this addition suggests that the product is more concentrated and therefore less powder should be needed for a wash load. Oddly enough, according to the manufacturer's recommendation, 30 grams of powder should now be used for hard water instead of the previous 21 grams. If this is applied to the laundry loads, only 50 instead of 71 washes per pack are possible. That's around 30 percent less, which in turn corresponds to a hidden price increase of 42 percent.
The consumer advice center is now wondering why instead of the possible 71 washing loads on the old pack there are only 46 washing loads. This is because Reckitt Benckiser previously based his published dosage recommendation (46) on very hard water and is now referring to hard water. In its statement, the manufacturer refers to a new EU directive that it is obliged to implement. That may well be true, but the group has "diluted" the powder and not concentrated it, because significantly fewer washes are now possible for the same reference value, as the VZHH notes.
Consumers often have to be annoyed about hidden price increases. Assuming they discover them too. The VZHH offers the opportunity to draw attention to products with which customers are deceived in this way (less content for the same price). She then makes these products public and chooses them the deceptive pack of the month and of the year.