Competition regulators are probing mattress seller Emma Sleep after concerns some of its online sales practices could be falling foul of consumer law.
The sleep wellness brand is being investigated for potentially misleading shoppers by its use of countdown timers, with concerns of false warnings that a discounted price will end soon.
A probe into Emma was “just the start of our work into potentially misleading online claims and all sectors are under scrutiny,” according to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)’s interim chief, Sarah Cardell.
The watchdog is launching a new programme looking at potentially harmful online sales methods, including so-called “pressure selling tactics,” including urgency claims.
A consumer enforcement scheme will assess practices such as countdown clocks, where shoppers are encouraged to buy items quickly and discount offerings where a real price reduction may not be as significant as claimed.
“With the rising cost of living, genuine deals are worth shouting about – but companies using misleading ‘sale’ prices or fake countdown clocks can put unfair pressure on people to buy and could break consumer law,” Cardell added.
“Companies should take note: look at your own practices and ensure they’re in line with the law,” she added.