Online credit card users need to watch out for poor price information

Supermarkets are being warned by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to make their online price information clearer to avoid confusing shoppers who might be buying their weekly shop on credit cards. Asda, Sainsbury, Tesco, Waitrose and Ocado have all agreed to ensure their websites now display clear information on their online pricing following complaints from shoppers who said they were being charged different prices to those advertised online.The prices orginally shown on the sites were often guide prices which could change slightly depending on the in-store prices for that particular day. The OFT believed that these potentially differing prices were not sufficiently explained. The new agreement with OFT now sees the five retailing giants promising to provide upfront information on their guide price policies and make sure special offer prices appearing online are treated as firm prices for any order made during the offer period. Credit card users are advised to make sure they check prices at the point of delivery with guide prices, particularly as shoppers, including those using Visa or Mastercard, are not contractually bound to accept the goods until delivery. They can reject their purchases if they are not happy with the prices. “We welcome the supermarkets’ improvements to the information available to customers buying groceries online,” commented John Fingleton, OFT chief executive. “Customers have a right to clear and transparent information upfront when making their buying decisions.”© Adfero Ltd

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