UK CMA Wowcher Urgency Claims Probe

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.
  • Overview
  • 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.
  • Urgency Claims
  • 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 Action
  • 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.

Regulators UK GVT
Entity Types CNSM; Corp
Reference PR, 11/16/2023
Functions Advertising; Financial; Legal; Market Conduct; Operations; Technology
Countries United Kingdom
Category Central Government
Products Corporate
Regions EMEA
Rule Type Enforcement
Rule Date 11/16/2023
Effective Date 11/16/2023
Rule Id 191509
Linked to N/A
Reg. Last Update 11/16/2023
Report Section AML & Enforcement

Last substantive update on 11/17/2023