CMA investigates Wowcher over online ‘urgency’ claims
The Competition and Markets Authority has announced that it will be examining whether Wowcher has misled consumers by using countdown timers and other urgency claims.
The watchdog is looking at whether the practice has placed unfair pressure on consumers to complete their purchases quickly.
The move marks the next stage in the CMA’s programme of enforcement work focusing on so-called ‘Online Choice Architecture’, which aims to tackle potentially harmful online selling practices. It follows the launch of the CMA’s investigation into Emma Sleep in late 2022.
The investigation of Wowcher will also look at other online selling practices used by the firm, including how it enrols consumers in its membership scheme.
Sarah Cardell, chief executive of the CMA, said: “People who buy online should not be pressurised by practices implying that they must act quickly to avoid missing out, when this is not the case. We’ll be scrutinising these claims from Wowcher and if we find the company is using misleading online selling tactics, we won’t hesitate to take enforcement action – through the courts if necessary.
“This is the second investigation we have opened into urgency claims – which can be a type of pressure selling – and all companies should take note and review their own practices. We’ve published advice to help with this, which sets out clearly those online urgency and price reduction claims that are likely to mislead or put unfair pressure on consumers.”
Email this article to a friend
You need to be logged in to use this feature.
Please log in here