Han Li Toh - Chief Executive, Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore

In PaRR’s Interview Series, Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore’s Chief Executive Han Li Toh provides a preview of some of the issues that were flagged by his agency’s consumer protection investigation into the online travel marketplace. Drip pricing, he explained, is when a price is advertised at the outset, but then mandatory items are added on, so that the final price is a lot more than advertised. Pre-ticked boxes, he said, can be found when buying certain products like air travel and the website defaults to preselect acceptance of paying for insurance. The burden should be on the seller to ensure consumers have notice of what they are agreeing to buy, he argued. Structural pricing, he explained, describes situations where there is a price advertised, along with a lower price that is “available for a limited time.” This raises two questions: (1) is the original price a real price that is actually charged to some customers? And (2) is the lower price really only available for a limited time? If not, this type of structural pricing can mislead consumers, he added. Listen to the full recording here.

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