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Drip pricing and fake reviews targeted through new e-commerce rules

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Drip pricing and fake reviews targeted through new e-commerce rules By Proactive Investors

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Published Jan 24, 2024 10:38
Updated Jan 24, 2024 11:10

© Reuters. Drip pricing and fake reviews targeted through new e-commerce rules

Proactive Investors – Hidden costs and fake reviews will be banned under new rules designed to make shopping online simpler for consumers.

Such additional costs, known as ‘drip pricing’, will have to be displayed as part of the headline price of online products under rules laid out in the digital markets, competition and consumers bill, which is currently making its way through Parliament.

These costs, which include the likes of booking fees on cinema and train tickets, are estimated to cost consumers £2.2 billion a year.

Optional ancillary fees will be excluded from the rules though, meaning airlines will be allowed to continue charging extra for the likes of baggage space and specified seats on flights.

“Modern-day shopping provides customers with more choice than ever before,” enterprise and markets minister Kevin Hollinrake commented.

“But with that comes the increased risk of confusion, scams and traps that can easily cost the public more than they had planned.”

Some 72% of firms in the transport and communication sectors use the practice, according to the government, alongside over half of those in the hospitality and entertainment industries.

Though consumer group Which? welcomed the clampdown, policy director Rocio Concha argued the steps should stretch to include airlines and even threaten criminal convictions for those using fake reviews.

“Millions of us use online reviews to help us choose a product or service,” she said.

“It’s particularly disappointing to see ministers stop short of criminalising trading and hosting of fake reviews – a necessary step to deter unscrupulous businesses and make online platforms take greater responsibility.”

Read more on Proactive Investors UK

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Drip pricing and fake reviews targeted through new e-commerce rules

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