Expedia Singapore had misled consumers to tempt them into making an immediate purchase, said Singapore’s competition watchdog.
Expedia Singapore has ceased its false claims of its “Daily Deals” promotions with effect from Nov 12, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) said on Thursday.
Bex Travel Asia, the company that runs the Expedia Singapore platform, has “undertaken to not engage in any further unfair practice”, the competition watchdog added.
In April 2019, CCCS began an investigation into the “Daily Deals” promotions on Expedia Singapore’s website, as well as the emails sent out to consumers subscribed to BEX’s mailing list.
These “Daily Deals” promotions involved the listing of certain “Daily Hotel Deals” and “Daily Package Deals”, which BEX represented as “Hot deals for 24hrs only!” that would expire at the end of each day.
However, investigations revealed that there were at least 55 of such “Daily Deals” offers where the promotional price remained the same the following day. It was also discovered that the “Hot deals for 24hrs only!” offers expired in less than 24 hrs, contrary to its representation.
This has misled consumers into believing that the price benefits only last for a limited period of time, thus creating unwarranted pressure or a sense of urgency for them to make an immediate purchase.
CCCS said it has administered a warning to BEX for its breaches and accepted BEX’s undertaking to comply with the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.
BEX has also undertaken prompt steps to cease any unfair practices in breach of the Act as communicated to consumers on promotions available on Expedia Singapore’s website. CCCS will continue to closely monitor consumer markets for possible unfair practices that harm consumers.
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