Watchdog slams 'misleading' online offers

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With the cost of living ever increasing Britons have become a nation of bargain-hunters, with some savvy shoppers saving up to £1,000 each year.

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But not every money off voucher or cut-price deal is what it seems and advertising watchdogs say customers are regularly being duped.

Offers on everything from nights out and flying lessons to life's essentials are available online but the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) claims many sites are guilty of misleading consumers.

Since December, more than 60 promotions have been banned or reworded as a result of misleading claims.

LivingSocial was found to be offering 11 misleading deals while eight complaints about deals offered on Groupon were upheld by the ASA.

In the latter case, offers including an 'all you can eat' meal in London for £3 and a 20-minute pedicure for two at the bargain price of £9 were, in fact, non-existent and customers carrying the vouchers were simply turned away.

An ASA spokesman said: "Challenges relate to the availability of offers or the value of the advertised discount. We have judged, in several cases, that ads on these websites have been misleading as a result."

Groupon, which currently boasts more than six million subscribers in the UK, blamed the mistakes on its German office and insisted it never intended to mislead customers.

What do you think - have you been lured by a misleading online offer? Let us know below...