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moniss

(4,157 posts)
Thu Jan 25, 2024, 01:17 AM Jan 25

We all know that sometimes our European [View all]

pals are more protective of consumer rights. Now comes news that the Brits are moving legislation through their process that would cut down on sneaky "add on charges" as you shop online. But one of the most impactful parts may well be the part of the legislation that prohibits false reviews for products. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could have that in the US? I get so tired of phony astro-turfed product reviews. Combine that with phony companies online etc. and it makes one want to turn the screen dark and go for a walk.

Also if only the search engines really did take you to companies that truly were the lowest price. I'm amazed at how many times I will be looking for pricing on a repair part for example and the first 3 pages of listings are all repeats of the same half dozen or so companies with of course the same pricing when the company is the same. So how come I need to see that company 5 times in 3 pages? Yes I know the twisted tale of placement, rankings, pay for placement, bots cranking hits in order to move rankings etc.

But do most people realize that anymore Amazon, Walmart and those first 3 pages or more of companies are not necessarily the cheapest price? I buy some fairly expensive repair parts for my business throughout the course of a year and I have found that if I am persistent and go through a half a dozen or more pages of listings all of a sudden a listing pops up for a small operation somewhere with a substantial saving compared to major parts dealers and OEM's. But I may have to spend a couple of hours total to find them. I do vet them to make sure I'm not looking at a phony company.

Even when I'm going to buy plain old consumer goods the best pricing is buried many pages deep in the search engine results. An example would be a year ago when I needed to buy some major label jeans. I hunted and hunted and every location, including the manufacturer's site, all had pricing within a couple of dollars. But lo and behold on page umpteen was a store site from Pennsylvania. It may be familiar to DU members from PA. They do clothing and country/farm supply products. Not a major chain and they have just a couple of actual brick and mortar stores in Pennsylvania Dutch country. There were my jeans for 35% off compared to anybody else and with free shipping for a purchase over $75!! Normal everyday price!

The moral of the story is we shouldn't put up with all of this fakery about reviews and about companies being able to pay to "drown out and obscure" the sites of competitors to the point we end up with a big chain having the same listing pop up 10 times in the first 4 pages of search results. The Brits are at least taking some steps in the direction to reduce some of the lies and deception. We must fight for better consumer rights on search engines and websites here in the US as well.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/consumers-bill-british-retail-consortium-government-cma-b2483689.html

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