The Week unzipped: Price predators

THE Office of Fair Trading has warned retailers it will take action against any misleading price offers which lure customers under false pretences.

It highlighted practices designed to trick customers such as "drip" pricing, where the retailer adds compulsory costs like delivery charges during the buying process. Misleading advertising is illegal under the 2008 unfair trading regulations.

The regulator is also concerned about time-limited offers and baiting sales with limited sale-stock. These promotions are legal.

Debit cards booming

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CASH is no longer king, as plastic takes over. Debit cards have surpassed cash as the most popular payment method for the first time according to figures from the UK Payments Council.

Spending on debit cards has reached 272 billion since last October, while cash expenditure accounted for 269 billion over the same period.

Credit card usage remained steady over the year but the use of cheques declined further.

The Payments Council claims cash is too cumbersome for today's consumers who expect debit cards to be accepted everywhere from pubs and clubs to corner shops.