Expedia Singapore website operator stops false 'Daily Deals' promotions after probe by CCCS

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
(Source: Expedia Singapore website)
(Source: Expedia Singapore website)

SINGAPORE — The operator of the Expedia Singapore website has stopped false claims related to the validity periods of its “Daily Deals” promotions after an investigation by Singapore’s competition watchdog.

BEX Travel Asia has undertaken to cease any further unfair practices of a similar nature, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) said in a statement on Thursday (12 November).

In April 2019, the CCCS began investigating into the "Daily Deals" promotions that BEX Travel had offered on the Expedia Singapore website and in electronic direct mailers sent to consumers.

These promotions involved the listing of certain “Daily Hotel Deals” and “Daily Package Deals”, which BEX Travel represented as “Hot deals for 24hrs only!” that would expire at 11.59pm on each calendar day.

The investigation revealed that there were at least 55 “Daily Deals” offers where the promotional prices remained the same even after 11.59pm. BEX Travel had indicated the “Hot deals for 24hrs only!” offers as being available for a shorter time period than represented.

“In CCCS's view, such false claims mislead consumers into believing that there is a price benefit that is only available for a limited period, thus creating unwarranted pressure or a sense of urgency for consumers to make an immediate purchase,” the competition watchdog said.

(Source: Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore)
(Source: Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore)

The false claims on promotions had been taking place since 2016 and had stopped as at October 2019, and they constituted unfair practices under the the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act, CCCS said.

After considering the facts of case, including the cessation of the breaches, CCCS administered a warning to BEX Travel. CCCS has accepted the company’s undertaking to comply with the Act and to take steps to cease any such unfair practices.

CCCS advises consumers who encounter unfair practices to approach the Consumers Association of Singapore (“CASE”) for assistance. They can visit www.case.org.sg or call 6100 0315.

(Source: Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore)
(Source: Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore)

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