OFT to probe sneaky price tricksters like... oh, we can't think of any

15 October 2009

Bitterwallet - Ryanair The Office of Fair Trading are training their steely eye on shifty online pricing tricks, with price comparison sites that don’t give customers the full picture to come under intense scrutiny.

Also caught in the glare of the OFT will be airlines who pile extra charges on top of the advertised fare. For the life of us we can’t think of the name of any companies who would do such a thing. Can you?

According to BBC News, among the dastardly doings that will be examined are…

• Drip pricing - where consumers only see an element of the price upfront and end up paying much more due to optional or compulsory extras. This could include products sold by airlines, car hire firms and insurance companies

• Time-limited offers - such as sales that finish at the end of the month or last for one day only. Carpet stores and furniture sellers could be representative of this practice, the OFT said

• Baiting sales - where a company advertises discounts to attract visitors whilst having few items at that price on sale

• Reference prices - artificially inflating the pre-sale price of an item in order to make the discount look more attractive. This could refer to companies offering cruises, selling furniture or to supermarkets

• Complex pricing - where it is difficult for a consumer to assess an individual price, such as with three-for-two offers and 'free' add-ons. Mobile phone companies, supermarkets and computer stores could fall into this category.

The OFT say that the investigation is expected to be completed by next summer, just in time for them to put their feet up and have a month off watching the World Cup. Good for them – they’ll have earned it.

8 comments

  • NobbyB
    They'll find it is wrong, but they cannot do anything about it.
  • NobbyB
    >Reference prices – artificially inflating the pre-sale price of an item in order to make the discount look more attractive. This could refer to companies offering cruises, selling furniture or to supermarkets Also most online retailers such as amazon, play, etc where just about all RRPs are inflated. > Complex pricing – where it is difficult for a consumer to assess an individual price, such as with three-for-two offers People that cannot work out individual prices on a 3-for-2 offer should be forced to attend school. > Time-limited offers – such as sales that finish at the end of the month or last for one day only. All sales have to end. Surely setting a date that the sale closes is a time limited offer. Most supermarkets discount products for a week or two, surely these would fall in this category.
  • Robert
    ^Time-limited offers E.g. When a store advertise 'Sale ends Monday' but fails to mention which Monday
  • Phil M.
    Baiting sales are the most annoying to me personally *shakes an angry fist*
  • Shonk
    it pisses me of the likes of tesco say rrp is say £1.40 for something and you can get it for 60p year round at farm foods so even when its on bog off once in a blue moon your still getting ripped off theyr such pricks
  • Brian
    Hi, my name is Brian. I hate Mike Ashley and the Sports Direct COCK SUCKERS with their 90% off crap and will be reporting them to the OFT. The shit they sell is worth less than their 10% selling/asking price.
  • Inactive
    I can't wait for the next DFS Sale..
  • iCock
    I was seeing this lady the other day, and she wanted extra to go down without a rubber! What a frikkin cheek! I did, of course, pay the extra £10.

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