A Wiltshire woman has been left feeling “ripped off” after water bottle prices in a discount store almost doubled in six weeks.

Joyce Deacon, from Melksham, was “fuming” after a water bottle that she bought for £2.50 at Poundstretcher’s High Street branch, during a summer sale, was valued at £4 when she returned just over a month later.

The 73-year-old originally purchased the bottle for her husband and a week later bought one for herself, on the way to the gym, and was surprised to find the product was now £1 more expensive.

But her frustration increased when she dropped her new bottle and broke the lid.

She ventured to the High Street once more and “could not believe her eyes” when she found the same water bottle now cost £4.

“I was absolutely fuming”, said the pensioner.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The Poundstretcher branch in Melksham High StreetThe Poundstretcher branch in Melksham High Street (Image: Newsquest)“It’s only a little amount but it’s the principle, I’m on a limited income and prices are going up everywhere, I’m paying a lot more for shopping.

“I want other people to know companies are ripping people off all the time, it makes me feel horrible because discount stores are meant to help people on low incomes.”

Mrs Deacon queried the increase with staff, who reportedly confirmed the bottles were the same stock and explained prices were set by head office.

While she reluctantly parted with £4 for the replacement bottle, she also sent a complaint to the chain’s head office.

Poundstretcher confirmed they had received the complaint and, after investigating the issue, found the item had been sold at £5 earlier this year and was on a half-price sale over the summer.

While this sale has finished, the retailer emphasised that the current price of £4 is still £1 lower than the original valuation.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The Poundstretcher water bottleThe Poundstretcher water bottle (Image: Newsquest)Mrs Deacon maintains that, as far as she could see, there were no promotional stickers on the bottles suggesting they were on offer when she originally bought one.

She remains convinced that a price of £5 is far more than the drinks container is worth.

“That bottle is worth £3 at the most and no more”, she said.

“There were no stickers or anything on it, and I just feel like they are trying to rip me off.

“It doesn’t seem like a lot to some people, but when you’re a pensioner every penny counts.”

Prior to their investigation into the seemingly rising price of the bottles, Poundstretcher contacted Mrs Deacon directly and informed her that inflation was driving up the cost of many products.