Sneaky online sales are taking advantage of Brits amid inflation

Sneaky online sales are taking advantage of Brits amid inflation

As the cost of living surges, Brits are getting more and more desperate to find the best deals, falling victim to online scams such as pressure selling, subscription traps, and fake reviews.

According to a recent poll of 3,700 adults, 67% of shoppers are desperate to find the best deals to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis.

Almost 33% admitted they fell for the sham of the best deal only to realize that they were conned, and roughly 48% of those between 18 and 34 were among them.

Roughly 71% of all shoppers thought that they were “saving money,” and 23% failed to realize that sales tactics such as “5 minutes left of the sale” or “only two remaining” prompted them to make the purchase immediately.

While a quarter of shoppers purchased items after being pressured by banners such as “two items left,” another 24% purchased items based on fake online reviews.

Thus, 56% of younger shoppers spent on items that they could not afford due to these pressure tactics, compared to 33% of all respondents.

To spread awareness amongst shoppers regarding these misleading online sales strategies, Angellica Bell, a TV presenter and consumer champion working for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), will be launching “The Online Rip-Off-Tip-Off” campaign.

She stated: “We know the cost-of-living crisis is putting a strain on shoppers across the UK, and online businesses are using sneaky sales tactics to make us part with our money when household budgets are already stretched.”

“We all feel the pressure of securing bargains, making us more susceptible to being ripped off.”

“It’s frustrating when this happens, and it’s time we call out these online retailers and report them to the CMA.”

The data also revealed that 45% of shoppers failed to realize that they were trapped in a subscription and found it challenging to cancel it.

Although 68% of shoppers suggested that these tactics should be banned, only 26% have reported these incidents.

46% believed that nothing could be done even after reporting these incidents, while 42% were surprised that such an option also exists.

Nonetheless, many chose to keep these incidents to themselves; 14% were too embarrassed to tell anyone about getting ripped off.

According to a OnePoll survey, 58% believe that such online retailers should be punished for using such deceptive tactics to trick customers into purchasing.

George Lusty, senior director for consumer protection at the Competition and Markets Authority, involved in the research, declared: “Our findings show shoppers are now pushed to make unplanned purchases as they hunt for the best bargains as the pressure from the cost of living mounts.”

“We know that every penny counts, and it is increasingly concerning as some businesses which sell online take advantage of the current economic crisis.

“That’s why we are issuing compliance advice directly to online retailers so they comply with the law when presenting urgency claims and price reduction claims to consumers.”

- Published By Team Timeswire

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