Consumer protection watchdog the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) will investigate online pricing tactics and internet advertising techniques that mislead consumers, it has said. It will also probe price comparison sites and behavioural advertising. The OFT, which polices the behaviour of businesses on behalf of consumers, may …
I say leave the sods alone
Nearly all of these so-called "tactics" can also be viewed as a benefit to the consumer, or, at least no worse than standard retail practices at brick-and-mortar stores.
If the sods can't resist the pull of adverts that demand them to "buy now, only one day left!", then they get what they deserve. Some people need repeated painful lessons to cure their stupidity.
BTW, one-day sales and behavioral based adverts are things I see as a benefit. Amazon regularly suggests items that I really *DO* want to purchase, and NewEgg has some killer deals on on-day sales. The trick, as any rational adult knows, is to not buy things that you don't want or need. If I see a hard drive for 50% off the best price elsewhere on a one-day sale, and I need it, I'll snap it up. If a book is suggested to me, and, after I read reviews and some content, I decide to buy it, how does that differ from walking past the bookseller's shop, seeing a book in the window, and walking in to buy it?
We must be very, very careful about what we ask for, lest we find ourselves in a wasteland where all consumer information is published by the government...the only place that this type of enforcement ultimately leads.
Good, lets start...
...with a certain Hotel chain promising rooms for £19.
I spent 20 minutes looking for one and the cheapest I could find was £39.
The proberbly have one room for mid Jan, next to a Motorway in the middle of nowwhere.
What to look at?
Simple, if they post a price regardless of how rediculously low it should be honored. Any and all orders made before they correct their mistake should be honored, and if they are worried about losing money on this then the resolution is simple. Make sure that you take responsibility for what you post on your site.
the marketing droids could just some advice from Bill Hicks.
And the elephant in the room?
Perhaps the OFT would like to investigate the advertising and pricing practices of the companies that connect us to these online retailers?