Friday, 13 July 2018 09:55

Different name, same old sales method ‘misleading’ consumers

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Different name, same old sales method ‘misleading’ consumers Image courtesy of sixninepixels at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

New Zealand competition enforcement regulator The Commerce Commission has again issued a warning to consumers over the sales methods employed on websites operated by Danish company Digital Sourcing, formerly known as LuxStyle.

This second alert follows a name change from Luxstyle to Digital Sourcing, with the Commission warning that despite the change, the company’s sales methods of “misleading consumers” still continue.

“We remain concerned that consumers are being misled into making purchases where they do not intend to do so,” said Antonia Horrocks, the Commission’s general manager, Competition and Consumer.

According to the Commission, the company uses a “deliver now, pay later” scheme in the portals so that consumers are sent goods without being required to pay for them online first.

“Consumers are mostly familiar with the concept of adding items to an online shopping cart. In general that doesn’t commit you to making a purchase, and you can withdraw from making the order at any time up until you make payment. The Digital Sourcing portals don’t work that way,” said Horrocks.

“Our message to consumers remains the same as it was in January: be careful about clicking through any site operated by LuxStyle/Digital Sourcing.

“If you hit ‘order now’ you are not simply adding to the cart - you may receive the goods and a bill for them. Customers should not hit the ‘order now’ button if they don’t wish to receive the goods,” Horrocks warned.

The Commission has received complaints about Luxstyle/Digital Sourcing since May 2016, with many consumers apparently unaware that they would be sent the goods before they had tendered payment.

Horrocks said that when contacted by the Commission in 2017, LuxStyle denied that it breaches consumer laws.

“If consumers receive an order confirmation email from Digital Sourcing for goods they did not intend to order, we recommend they follow the link in the email to cancel the order or contact Digital Sourcing’s customer service to request a cancellation,” he said..

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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