Wowcher, the web retail and experiences platform, has been warned it might face courtroom motion until it modifications buyer gross sales practices.
The Competitors and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a evaluation of its operations in March as a part of a wider probe into pressure-selling techniques utilized by retailers on-line.
The investigation, the regulator stated, had discovered a number of areas of concern together with hidden prices and using a pre-ticked field to enrol shoppers into VIP memberships on Wowcher’s website.
The principle gripe, nonetheless, appears to centre on its use of timers.
“Wowcher’s web site options in depth use of countdown clocks and advertising claims akin to ‘Operating out!’ or ‘In excessive demand!’ which create an impression of urgency and affect buyers as they’re making their buying choices,” an announcement stated.
“The CMA has discovered proof that these claims threat giving the deceptive impression that merchandise will improve in worth or is not going to be accessible, when that is usually not the case.
“Such claims, particularly when used with countdown clocks, can put stress on buyers to purchase rapidly for concern of lacking out, resulting in rushed purchases.”
The watchdog stated it had written to Wowcher to stipulate the methods wherein it might formally tackle the findings.
“Wowcher now has the chance to reply and keep away from courtroom motion by signing undertakings to vary its on-line gross sales practices,” the regulator added.
The corporate responded: “Wowcher’s mission has at all times been to assist save our prospects cash with one of the best, unique provides from 1000’s of our retailers throughout the UK.
“This has by no means been extra vital than on this difficult financial atmosphere.
“The goal of our advertising claims is at all times to supply correct and helpful data to our prospects when they’re searching our web site.
“We look ahead to persevering with to have interaction with the CMA on this matter.”