Savings boost for Britons as hidden fees when online shopping to be banned

Savings boost for Britons as hidden fees when online shopping to be banned

Greg Smith issues warning about tax on savings interest

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 24/01/2024

- 16:47

Households are collectively losing billions of pounds via drip pricing but the trading practice is soon to be banned

Shoppers are set to save billions due to a new law change which will scrap hidden fees on online purchases. Drip pricing will banned as part of the Government’s crackdown on unfair trading practices affecting consumers.

Fake reviews and shop labelling will also be targeted, following a consultation into consumer transparency and as part of the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill (DMCC). According to the Government, unavoidable fees from online shopping cost consumers in the UK £2.2billion.

Woman online shopping

Shoppers will save money thanks to the Government's ban on hidden fees


Drip pricing occurs when consumers are shown an initial price for a good or service but additional fees are revealed later in the checkout process.

Research suggests this happens in 54 per cent and 56 per cent of providers in the entertainment and hospitality industries, respectively.

Drip pricing occurs across nearly three-quarters of the transport and communication sectors, according to research cited by the Government.

Kevin Hollinrake, the Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, said: “From supermarket shelves to digital baskets – modern day shopping provides customers with more choice than ever before.

“But with that, comes the increased risk of confusion, scams and traps that can easily cost the public more than they had planned.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates the clear steps we’re taking as a government to ensure customers can compare purchases with ease, aren’t duped by fake reviews, and have the sting of hidden fees taken away.”

Graham Wynn, the assistant director of British Retail Consortium said: “The BRC looks forward to continuing to work with officials as practical detailed implementation plans are developed.

“We are committed to ensuring information given to consumers is clear and they are not misled in any way.”

Tesco online make up

Traders will to be upfront about the cost


The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will be responsible for making sure the changes are implemented.

A spokesperson for the CMA said: "It's positive to see the government pushing ahead with changes to tackle behaviour that misleads shoppers or leaves them out of pocket - which includes accepting the CMA's recommendations for clearer groceries pricing.

"Stronger laws and tools, including giving the CMA the power to fine companies for breaching consumer law under the DMCC Bill, will bolster the work we are already doing to protect consumers."

You may like