An Alarming Rise of Online Stores Misleading Customers

Avatar for Demi Soubasaki
An Alarming Rise on Online Stores Misleading Customers

Almost 40% of European online stores utilize “dark patterns.” These strategies, which include hiding expenses and faking countdowns, are used to persuade clients to buy under false premises.

These are some of the outcomes of the European Commission’s study. 399 online shops from 23 European Union nations were included in the study (EU).

148 of the 399 online stores use at least one deceptive practice

These same “dark patterns” are tricks that sway clients into making online purchases. The European Commission also examined the apps of online stores. There are 27 apps out of 102 that use at least one dark pattern.

Fake countdowns and hidden expenses

70 shops apply this strategy the most typically when hiding crucial information. This can involve distorting delivery fees, a product’s composition, or less expensive alternatives. To attract clients into a membership, 23 internet businesses withheld information from them.

Information withholding is the most common strategy.

In addition to suppressing information, 54 websites referred to more expensive subscriptions, products, and delivery alternatives using misleading language or visual cues. Up to 42 online stores misuse countdown timers with fictitious purchase deadlines.

“Such act is in opposition to consumer protection”

The European Commission states that national authorities plan to contact the companies mentioned above and take additional measures where needed. The Commission will also assess how well-prepared the current consumer protection regulations are for dark patterns.

“This behavior is obviously inappropriate.”

Dider Reynders, European commissioner for justice, declares that “this behavior is obviously unacceptable and violates consumer protection.” Today, we have legally binding agreements to address these issues, and I urge the national governments to use their enforcement powers to take action and stop these behaviors.

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