Retail giant Dixons Group, already in regulators’ cross-wires over the issue of extended warranties [WAMN:24-Apr -03], has received a another draconian ‘tsssk’ from the Office of Fair Trading – on this occasion for running misleading consumer advertisements.
The complaint refers to Dixons’ unit Currys, a nationwide chain of electrical shops and superstores, whose national ads promised consumers they could “choose to pay no interest” when taking out loans to pay for purchases.
Blissfully unaware of the unwavering cosmic rule that there are no free lunches, some consumers were rash enough to take Currys at its word – only to find that if their borrowings were not paid in full within a specific time [usually 9-12 months], interest was charged over the whole period of the loan.
Harrumphed OFT chairman John Vickers: “A company advertising ‘interest free’ or ‘no interest’ credit deals must offer just that – credit without interest. Consumers should not be misled by inaccurate advertising.”
It is not thought that Dixons’ corporate bank account is one penny the lighter in penalty following this infringement of the consumer advertising rules, a company spokesman commenting defiantly: “[The advertising] was technically accurate but we agreed to alter the prominence of certain wording.”
Data sourced from: Telegraph.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff