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Do your prices mislead consumers? The OFT has the answer…

2 December 2010

The OFT have today published their final report into which pricing models are most likely to mislead consumers. The report will set enforcement priorities for the OFT (and others), and is the result of a year-long investigation into how consumers understand different pricing practices.

The pricing practices examined in particular were:

  1. drip pricing
  2. time limited offers
  3. “bait” prices
  4. complex offers
  5. reference pricing
  6. volume offers and free offers

The report ranked drip pricing as having most potential to mislead, and volume/free offers as having the least potential to mislead. This does not mean that all drip pricing is banned and all volume offers are permitted – further factors are set out in the report, which will be considered before a decision to take enforcement action is made.

Businesses which continue to use such pricing models may be at risk of court action. We recommend that businesses take advice and review their pricing practices to check they are compliant with the guidance.

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