On Nov. 16, UK GVT called on Wowcher to change web sales practices.
UK CMA called on Wowcher to change its online sales practices, which could put unfair pressure on customers to make quick purchases, breaching consumer protection law.
Wowcher is a large online site with deals on products, services, such as restaurants, hotels, experiences; n Mar. 2023, CMA launched an investigation following concerns about Wowcher’s online sales practices, including if its urgency claims were misleading.
Wowcher’s website features extensive use of countdown clocks and marketing claims such as Running out! or In high demand!, which create an impression of urgency.
This, in turn, influences shoppers as they are making their purchasing decisions.
UK CMA found evidence these claims risk giving the misleading impression that products will increase in price or will not be available, when this is often not the case.
Such claims, especially when used with countdown clocks, can put pressure on shoppers to buy quickly for fear of missing out, leading to rushed purchases.
UK CMA is also concerned about other practices used by Wowcher, including hidden charges and the use of a pre-ticked box to enroll consumers into VIP memberships on Wowcher’s site, which may lead to additional unintended purchases by consumers.
CMA has written to Wowcher detailing its concerns, outlining how it can address these.
Wowcher has the opportunity to respond, avoid court action by signing undertakings.