Clampdown on fake reviews and hidden fees announced

05 September 2023 by
Clampdown on fake reviews and hidden fees announced

Businesses are set to receive greater protection from fake reviews and be subject to stricter regulation around hidden fees.

A government consultation launching today will seek opinions on eradicating the purchase and sale of fake reviews, while ensuring businesses can continue to benefit from real ones.

It follows the launch of the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill (DMCC), which had its first reading in April this year. The Bill will continue to explore powers to ban fake reviews and subscription traps.

The Department for Business and Trade has also submitted proposals to reform the Price Marking Order, which will provide better clarity on the final unit price of products.

It comes after research commissioned by the government confirmed the widespread practice of ‘drip pricing', which is when the price paid at checkout is higher than what was originally advertised.

Research revealed ‘drip pricing' occurred in more than half (56%) of providers in the hospitality industry.

Kevin Hollinrake, minister for enterprise, markets and small business, said: "Today's measures will help people keep hold of their hard-earned cash and ensure they have the clearest and most accurate information upfront before they make a purchase.

"We'll be listening to industry to ensure these new regulations work for businesses too and don't generate unnecessary burdens, while at the same time providing a crucial safety net for consumers and their cash."

Earlier this year, TripAdvisor reported over one million fake reviews or paid-for reviews were blocked or removed from the online travel company in 2022.

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