The OFT has today closed its consumer law investigation into the pricing practices of DFS Furniture Company Limited (DFS), and welcomes DFS's confirmation of its commitment to: advertise the same prices across all its stores and online; and "1-1 pricing" - ensuring that promotional price periods are no longer than the periods during which the product in question is offered at its normal price.
Keith Baker, director of sales at DFS, says: “Today’s announcement by the OFT confirms that the OFT is completely satisfied that DFS is in full compliance in relation to the issues that it was investigating, and has therefore closed its investigation into DFS. We are pleased the OFT has publically welcomed DFS’ existing and continual commitment to open and transparent pricing.
“As the UK’s market-leading sofa retailer, customer service is paramount for DFS – it’s the foundation upon which we’ve built our business over the past 44 years. Central to this is the importance of treating customers fairly, in an open, honest way.
“We know buying a sofa requires a good deal of consideration and customers have a right to absolute clarity before making a purchase. That’s why we are committed to being totally transparent on pricing and act in accordance with all the relevant guidelines.
“To make our commitment to transparent pricing even more visible to our customers, we are publishing our current existing pricing practices both on our website and within our formal terms and conditions. So when a customer visits DFS they can be confident that all our prices will always be the same whether they are in any of our stores or online. In addition, we assure customers that no product will ever be on sale for longer than it is available at its normal price. At DFS a time-limited offer has always been just that.
“All this means customers can buy from DFS with confidence – confidence they will never be misled and can purchase from us safe in the knowledge that all our prices and sales periods are totally genuine.”
Earlier this year, the OFT opened a number of formal investigations under Part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002 to consider whether several businesses operating in the furniture and carpet sectors were engaging in the use of misleading reference pricing – specifically whether those retailers were engaging in practices that breach the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
Reference pricing refers to those offers which aim to demonstrate to consumers that they offer good value by including a reference to another, typically higher, past or future price.
The OFT's investigation into other parties concerning possible breaches of consumer protection regulations continues.