Money Wellness
Image of a supermarket fruit shelf with the labels in focus. Clamp down on hidden booking fees, fake reviews and labelling
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calendar icon24 Jan 2024

Government to clamp down on hidden fees and fake reviews

Fake reviews, shop labelling and hidden fees that make shopping more difficult and expensive are to be made illegal by the government.

Unavoidable hidden fees also known as ‘drop pricing’ occur when you’re shown a price for an item or service, only to find additional fees are added when you come to check out.

According to the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), the practice is widespread.

They found it being used by 54% of entertainment providers in the UK, across 56% of the hospitality industry and 72% of the transport and communications sectors.

It costs Brits and additional £2.2 billion every year.

Going forward, retainers and service providers must include additional fees in the headline price or at the start of the shopping process – these include booking fees for cinema and train tickets.

However, optional fees, such as airline seat and luggage upgrades won’t be included in the changes.

Fake reviews will also be banned, with the likes of Amazon, TripAdviser, Trustpilot, and Facebook being accountable for reviews on their pages.

And the Price Marking Order (PMO) will be reformed and used to stop supermarkets misleading customers.

Retailers will be required to display the final selling price and, where appropriate, the final unit price - e.g price per litre or kilogram – of products in a clear way.

This is designed to ensure unit pricing is consistently applied to products on supermarket shelves, making it easier to compare products and find the best value option.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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