The Trade Description Act was created in order to protect consumers when purchasing goods and services. Whilst the majority of the Act is focused on the description and information supplied about a product there are also regulations regarding the price of products. All traders within the UK must trade within the rules set out within the Trades Description Act. Failure to do so will result in fines being imposed and potential prosecution in serious cases. In local areas the body that monitors trading activity is the Trading Standards team. Consumers are within their rights to report traders if they feel that the Act has been broken.
Set out within the Act are numerous regulations relating to the pricing of products and services within the UK. These regulations make it an offence to price products in a way which breaches the Act.
Under the Act it is considered a breach to indicate that an advertised price is equal to or less than a recommended retail price or the price of goods that have been sold by the trader previously. It is also an offence to state that a price is a specified amount, for example a percentage, lower than it actually is. Any kind of false indication to these points will result in the decision being made that the Trade Description Act has been breached.
It is also an offence for a trader to give any kind of indication that the products or services being offered are of a lower price than the true selling price. Under the Act it makes it an offence for traders to suggest that a product is any price other than the true selling price or higher. If a product is marked at a lower price than the true selling price this will be regarded as a breach under the act. A price tag stating something is cheaper than the cash register states will be regarded as a breach as this is an indication that the product is cheaper.
Traders must not indicate that products were previously sold at a higher price previously if this is not true. Therefore during a sale period a trader must not change the original price of products in order to present a product as being reduced by more than it actually has been.
When referring to a recommended price a trader must relate to the manufacturer of the product and no other party. Any advertisement relating to the recommended price must be true and from the authorised manufacturer.
Consumers are reminded that all traders within the UK must adhere to the regulations stipulated in the Trade Description Act. Breaches of the Act should be reported to allow investigations to commence into the matter.