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OFT wins 'informal undertakings'

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Dixons Stores Group (DSG) has received a ticking off from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) over misleading advertising.

Currys, one of DSG's stable of retailers, was found to be advertising misleading ads for interest-free credit - something the OFT won't stand for.

Why? Well, although the "no interest" or "0%" loans might sound tempting, it seems that if the loan wasn't paid off in full at the end of the interest free period, then interest would be charged for the whole period of the loan.

And that is a big no-no, as far as the OFT is concerned, since such ads break the law and can mislead consumers.

Dixons - along with a number of other retailers - had already given assurances that they wouldn't run such ads. However, in this one case in a Currys store Dixons has admitted that it was at fault blaming the incident on a "marketing error".

It has now given "informal undertakings" that it will change the advertising of its in-store credit to end misleading 'no interest' claims, said the OFT today.

In a statement John Vickers, OFT chairman, said: "A company advertising 'interest free' or 'no interest' credit deals must offer just that - credit without interest. Consumers should not be misled by inaccurate advertising." ®

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