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Clampdown on fake reviews and hidden fees


12/09/2023

The Department for Business and Trade published the following announcement, that if implemented, should reduce the present trend to publish fake reviews and charge hidden fees at point of sale. The overall aim is to help consumers cut the cost of living…

In a recent press release the Department said:

“Commissioned by the Prime Minister in June as part of the Government’s ongoing work to support people with the cost of living, government research published today will inform the consultation to ensure we root out where ‘drip pricing’ harms consumers most.

The research has confirmed so-called ‘drip pricing’ – where the price paid at checkout is higher than originally advertised due to extra, but necessary, fees – is widespread, and occurs in more than half of providers in the entertainment (54%) and hospitality (56%) industry, and almost three quarters across transport and communication (72%) sectors. In total, this costs UK consumers £1.6 billion online each year.”

Additional consultations that target labelling and so-called “fake reviews” are in the pipe-line that should ensure that unit pricing is consistently applied, including to promotions and special offers, helping consumers compare products easily and identify what items represent the best value.

At present, these noble initiatives are speculative. We will have to wait and see if the proposed consultations produce effective legislation.


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