Consumers must be protected from unscrupulous personalised pricing, Citizens Advice says
Citizens Advice has responded to the government announcement that it will work with the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate personalised pricing in consumer markets.
Research carried out by the charity in August found 3 in 4 consumers (74%) wouldn’t trust their provider if they were found to be using data to personalise prices.
The polling also found 85% of people said they were uncomfortable with the idea of personalised prices in essential service markets.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
"The explosion in the amount of available personal data gives companies the temptation to tailor prices and charge customers more based on their personal details and behaviour.
“Our evidence points to the fact that most people wouldn’t trust their essential service provider if they were setting prices differently for certain people.
“We launched our super-complaint in September because companies already target people for their loyalty - and personalised pricing could make this easier to do.
“This inquiry gives the government the chance to make clear this is unacceptable and protect vulnerable people in particular from companies who use personal data to exploit customers.”
Notes to editors
- The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
- The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
- To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
- You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
- Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
- Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.