Charles Tyrwhitt Hit With ACCC Penalty Over “Was/Now” Pricing
Brit shirtmaker Charles Tyrwhitt has been nobbled by the ACCC after they were caught out fudging the online price of their shirts.
According to the ACCC, the before and after pricing for men’s shirts did not stack up, resulting in the company copping a $10.8k fine.
The ACCC stated that it “issued the infringement notice because it had reasonable grounds to believe that Charles Tyrwhitt had made a false or misleading representation in relation to the ‘was’ price of a men’s ‘slim fit non-iron micro-spot white’ shirt in ‘was/now’ pricing on its website between February 2016 and March 2016, in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law”.
The ‘was/now’ price representation had the shirt at a ‘was’ price of $160 and a ‘now’ price of $69.
The ACCC stated the representation “falsely represented to consumers that by purchasing the shirt there would be a saving of the difference between the ‘was’ and ‘now’ prices when that was not the case because the shirt has not been genuinely offered for a reasonable period at the ‘was’ price”.
The shirt had been advertised at the ‘was’ price of $160 for a short period in a section of its website which was difficult to locate, with no consumer having ever purchased the shirt at the ‘was’ price, the ACCC stated.
“Comparative advertising can be a powerful marketing tool, but it is essential that retailers ensure that any advertised savings are real, truthful and accurate,” ACCC commissioner Sarah Court commented.
“Was/now price representations are likely to be misleading if the products have not been sold at the ‘was’ price for a reasonable period immediately before the sale or ‘now’ price is offered.
“The ACCC’s enforcement action against Charles Tyrwhitt also serves as a reminder to overseas businesses that if they supply products to Australian consumers, they must comply with the Australian Consumer Law.”
Information on two-price comparative advertising can be found here.