DFS cleared over claims of exaggerated price cuts Five other retailers still under investigation by the OFT

13 December 2013


Furniture retailer DFS has today been cleared by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) over claims it exaggerated its price cuts. 

The retailer was found not to have misled customers into thinking they were getting a bargain by artificially increasing original prices of its products.

DFS was one of six retailers accused in the furniture pricing probe. 

The other five retailers, including Dreams, Carpetright, Furniture Village and Harveys and Benson Beds owner Steinhoff, are still under investigation.

When you shop in a sale, your rights are still protected by the Sale of Goods Act and the Distance Selling Regulations if you're shopping online.  

For more information, read our guide to your rights if you're shopping in a sale.  

Misleading promotions

The OFT said that DFS has committed to advertising the same price across its website and stores, and that promotional prices are not offered for a longer period than the original higher price.

The OFT’s investigation, which was launched at the end of August,  showed that some stores had failed to sell any items at the higher price before advertising them at a lower sale price.

Its investigation echoes Which? findings in our furniture sales investigation in 2010, where we tracked thousands of prices for seven months.

Sales shopping and your rights

If a shop advertises a sale, there are certain government guidelines it must follow to ensure it's a genuine sale.

Before reducing prices in a sale, items must have been sold at the higher price for 28 consecutive days in that store immediately before the sale, unless a sale explains the terms of the offer.

If you buy items in an online sale, you have additional rights to return them under the Distance Selling Regulations.

With Christmas sales starting earlier and earlier, make sure you're aware of your shopping rights in a Christmas sale.

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