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Spotlight On: 'Super-complaint' issued to supermarket retailers

July 22, 2015

The consumer body Which? is one of only a small number of bodies designated by law that can issue a 'super-complaint.' The watchdog has compiled a dossier of misleading pricing promotions that have taken place at several major supermarkets. These include 'larger pack better value' offers where the individual items were proportionately more expensive.  The Consumer Markets Authority (CMA) has 90 days to respond to the 'super-complaint' which it hopes will encourage the government to look at ways of simplifying and clarifying laws governing promotions.

"The idea of a super-complaint is that a designated consumer body can make a complaint to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) about features of a market for goods or services in the UK which appear to be significantly harming the interests of consumers. This is a way of making the consumer's voice more powerful: individual consumers often lack the knowledge, motivation or experience to complain effectively, but a designated consumer body should have the resources and ability to do so."

Extract from 11 Enterprise Act 2002: market studies and market investigations, 3 Super-Complaints by Richard Whish from Competition Law (7th Edition)