01.Group Buying Code of Practice change
The Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) has revised its Group Buying Code of Practice. The updated code will require signatories to actively confirm the accuracy of any claims made about the benefits, value or characteristics of group-buying offers that they are selling, and should lead to greater transparency for consumers seeking to purchase deals.
In addition, the code also requires group-buying platforms (GBP) to provide a telephone number and email address for consumers, which is a step in the right direction that will ensure purchasers of deals are better able to contact the GBPs should something go wrong.
The code also features increased oversight, with the Code Authority now able to conduct spot checks and monitor compliance. However, there is no detail as to how the spot checks will operate.
“Australians have proven enthusiastic about group buying deals, but there were some teething issues in this industry which is only a few years old. We need to ensure that group buying is a pleasant and stress-free experience for all - consumers, merchants and the group buying platforms themselves,” says ADMA CEO Jodie Sangster.
In CHOICE's recent investigation into the operation of the code, we found that generally signatories to the code provided a better consumer experience, and were more likely to resolve disputes with consumers in a satisfactory way. However, it is important to note that of the dozens of group-buying platforms that are currently operating in the Australian market, only Cudo, Groupon, Jump On it, LivingSocial, OurDeal, Deals.com.au, Ouffer and Scoopon, are signatories to the code.
CHOICE encourages consumers to check whether the group buying sites that they are considering purchasing deals from are code signatories. CHOICE also encourages sites that aren't currently signatories to the code to consider signing up, to ensure consumers have greater peace of mind when purchasing deals through them.