Watchdog warns over ‘sneaky’ sales ploys to part drunken online shoppers from their money

Written by Sam Trendall on 29 March 2022 in News
News

Research from CMA finds many Brits enjoy a tipple while they browse 

Credit: Nenad Stojkovic/CC BY 2.0    Image has been cropped

The UK’s consumer rights regulator has warned the public that doing online shopping while under the influence of alcohol leaves them susceptible to “sneaky” sales ploys used by retailers.

According to the Competition and Markets Authority, these “misleading online tactics” can include hidden charges and fees, bogus claims about the availability or popularity of a product, and the use of fake reviews. Other tricks include “misleading customers into signing up to, and paying for, an unwanted subscription that can be difficult to cancel”.

A study commissioned by the watchdog found that half of those who shop online in the late evening have done so while enjoying an alcoholic drink. Four in five have shopped on the web while watching television, while 70% have listened to music at the same time. 


Related content


The CMA noted that even a third of “digitally native Gen Z” respondents – who, with an average of £290 a month, spend more on late-night online purchases than any other group – admitted to “being susceptible to online rip-offs”.

The regulator has launched a new campaign – dubbed the Online Rip-off Tip-off – to help raise awareness of potential scams or misleading sales practices used by e-tailers.

George Lusty, CMA senior director for consumer protection, said: “As the cost of living continues to rise, every penny we spend must count. We’re increasingly concerned about online businesses using sales tactics to push people into parting with their cash. And the time of day or mindset you’re in when shopping can make you more vulnerable to being unwittingly misled.”

The regulator’s consumer awareness campaign is being fronted by TV presenter Angellica Bell.

 

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology. He can be reached on sam.trendall@dodsgroup.com.

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

EXCL: Wall of silence surrounds plan for nationwide collection of citizens’ internet records
26 May 2022

Online notice reveals controversial trials are to be expanded into a national service – about which government, law enforcement, watchdogs and all the UK’s major ISPs declined to answer questions...

‘This lack of transparency could undermine trust’ – DWP scolded over failure to publish research data
21 June 2022

Parliamentary committee writes to department urging greater openness

DWP signs potential £50m Atos deal for IT system to support personal independence payment assessments
16 June 2022

Platform will go live with assessment providers next summer

Social value: public sector must demand more – and tech suppliers need to deliver
8 June 2022

SMEs and other providers should embrace the new mandates for IT firms to demonstrate social value, according to Alex Jackson of dxw