Firms warned to avoid unfair pricing practices

Businesses that price their products in a misleading way could be violating fair trading laws, a government watchdog has warned.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has reported that consumers are spending hundreds of pounds annually on products that they would not have otherwise purchased.

Some of the most misleading strategies identified by the body's research study included time-limited offers, drip pricing, complex pricing and reference pricing.

In many of these instances, shoppers cannot be sure that the original price is as low as originally stated.

John Fingleton, the chief executive of OFT, said: "Misleading pricing is not only bad for the consumer, it is also bad for competition, and creates an uneven playing field between fair dealing businesses that stick to the spirit of the law, and those that push the boundaries too far."

Firms could find that it is a good idea to consult the OFT manual on pricing practices to avoid facing legal action from the body.

Posted by Christopher Evans

Published on: December 2, 2010

Did you like this article? Share it!