Pricing Practices Guide Review

Pricing Practices Guide – Review by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) 

As part of CTSI’s remit of delivering most aspects of business education under the authority of the Consumer Protection Partnership, CTSI is developing the new Pricing Practices Guide. 

The consultation on the Pricing Practices Guide has now closed. 

Following a request from the British Retail Consortium the closing date was extended for BRC members to 20th January 2016.

Many thanks to all stakeholders who have responded. There was a total of 35 responses, that range from two sentences to 15 pages, from a broad cross section of organisations including Trading Standards Departments, supermarkets, high street retailers,  solicitors, manufacturers and bodies such as the British Retail Consortium, the Advertising Standards Authority and the Association of Convenience Stores.

CTSI is very grateful for the time and trouble that all respondents have clearly gone to, to provide us with many helpful comments and useful insights.

In due course we will produce a summary document giving an analysis of the comments received and in the meantime the review team will commence their review of the responses and begin work on the final draft of the guidance.

Any queries please email ppgreview@tsi.org.uk


 

Pricing Practices Guide Review – Update July 2015

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have published their response to the Which? super-complaint and CTSI welcomes the response.

The response announced a series of measures to improve compliance, bring greater clarity to shoppers and simplify the regulations. In its investigation, the CMA found examples of pricing and promotional practices that have the potential to confuse or mislead consumers. However, the problem was not found to be widespread across the whole sector.

CTSI is working on the revision of the Pricing Practices Guide (PPG). We welcome the extra evidence from CMA set out in the response and continue to work with them and other partners on the revision of a new guide. 

If you have any questions or specific concerns please contact the PPG Review Team at ppgreview@tsi.org.uk


 

Pricing Practices Guide - Call for Evidence

In February 2014, CTSI issued a call for evidence on whether or not the current Pricing Practices Guide (PPG) should be reviewed. This is part of CTSI’s new remit of delivering on most aspects of business education under the authority of the Consumer Protection Partnership. The closing date for the call was 30 April and we received 62 responses from a broad range of individuals and organisations. This included 25 responses from individual consumers, 10 responses from individual businesses and 9 responses from individual trading standards authorities.

All of the responses suggest that change is required to the PPG. The suggested changes range from tweaking small aspects through to a wholesale re-write.

Most respondents provided detailed responses to each of the fourteen questions asked. In total, there are more than 370 pages of response.

TSI have published an informative document ‘Pricing Practices Review - Call for Evidence Responses


After reviewing the submissions we received in response to our call for evidence we are minded to produce guidance which focuses on the principles of relevant laws, particularly the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. There would be a greater emphasis on businesses assessment of the fairness of the pricing practice and its overall effect, or potential effect, on consumers.
 
These principles could be illustrated by good and bad examples taking after the OFT's supermarket promotion principles, which were cited by some respondents as a helpful model. The examples would not be prescriptive, nor would they create any safe harbours.
 
In November & December 2014 and January 2015 we held a number of roundtable events to gather views on this approach. We are very grateful to all those who attended the events and for their valuable contributions to the discussions.
  
Click here for a summary of the discussions at the events. These notes should not be taken as an indication of any decisions that have been made in relation to the content of the new Pricing Practices Guidance.

Work is on-going on the new Pricing Practices Guide. We will publish a draft for public consultation within the next few weeks. 


The PPG was developed in 1988 as way to protect consumers from misleading prices and help create a platform for fair competition for businesses. The guidance, which has no statutory force, is widely used by business to help demonstrate professional diligence in their pricing policies and practices.

Click here to download the call for evidence.