The Consumer Protection (Unfair Practices)(Jersey) Law 2018 regulates pricing practices and promotions.
The law covers all consumer goods and services, including:
- estate agents
- car retailers
- furniture retailers
It applies to all platforms used for business-to-consumer commercial practices, including all distance contracts (online, by telephone, etc) and any other medium used to sell to consumers.
The following guide provides helpful common sense advice to traders about pricing practices.
It can be difficult to identify every fair or unfair pricing practice so the guidance focuses on the main areas of concern. The law avoids prescriptive rules and focuses on general principles of fair dealing.
The guiding principle is that traders are responsible for ensuring that their pricing practices do not mislead consumers.
Guidance for traders on pricing practices from the Business Companion website
Recommended retail price
A recommended retail price (RRP) is a price that a manufacturer or supplier has recommended.
When showing an RRP, retailers must follow some rules;
- RRP are the initials used in the UK so you should avoid using other abbreviations
- an RRP must not be false and must represent a genuine selling price
- you can't recommend your own RRP or influence the price at which your third party supplier or manufacturer sets the RRP
- you can't create an RRP to present the appearance of a discount.
Jersey RRP and UK RRP
There is a difference between Jersey GST and UK VAT.
If you choose to show a price comparison to RRP you must be clear about this being a UK RRP or a Jersey RRP.
Confirming an RRP
Traders using RRPs should consider getting a confirmation from their suppliers or manufacturers that the RRP is a genuine selling price.
If a business uses an RRP that is not verified, there is a risk that it isn't genuine.
The business could be misleading their customers.
28 days within six months rule
Under a previous rule, if goods were at a higher price for 28 days within a six month period, traders could make comparisons to that higher established price in a price promotion.
This is no longer considered fair. For example you can’t have goods at full price for one month then discounted for 5 months.
The new guidance suggests the goods should not be on sale for longer than they were originally at the higher price.
Traders should only make comparisons with the previous price and the trader should have sold a large number of units at the higher price to be able to make a genuine price comparison.
Displaying extra charges
Traders should include all extra charges in the up-front price if they are compulsory. For example postage, packaging, delivery charges and administrative fees that must be paid for a service.
If compulsory charges vary, you should let consumers know at the start.
You should give information about how it will be calculated in a clear, intelligible, unambiguous and timely manner.
More advice is available by contacting Trading Standards.