Community News: Citizens Advice North Herts & District

Citizens Advice North Herts & District

Online shopping traps caught out 8.5 million people in the last year…

These online tactics used by some retailers, though legal, led to one in six people buying something they didn’t want, need or came to regret according to new research by Citizens Advice earlier this year
1. Misleading or difficult to find information
A company is selective in what information it presents about a product or service. For example, this might mean labeling a product a ‘best value’, when the retailer also sells cheaper versions.
2. Drip Pricing
A website or app leads with a headline price, but at checkout the final price is higher once necessary conditions are applied. This makes it harder for consumers to compare prices across retailers.
3. Subscription Traps
A website or app offers a subscription, often as a free trial, but consumers either didn’t fully understand what they’re signing up for, or don’t realise this will automatically roll into a paid subscription.
4. Limited Stock Claims
A website or app shows something as ‘low in stock’ or popular (‘100 people looked at this in the last 24 hours’). These scarcity tactics can result in consumers making quick decisions and spending more than they intended to.
5. Countdown timers
Similar to limited stock claims, this pressure tactic involves having a countdown timer for when a sale ends.

You can visit the Royston office of Citizens Advice North Herts, located in the Town Hall, on a Monday or Wednesday morning from 9.30am to 12 noon.
For further advice contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or to contact Citizens Advice North Herts call 01763 689801 or visit for CANH opening times and locations.