70% of home shopping ads made false claims: KCA

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70% of home shopping ads made false claims: KCA

Seven out of 10 TV home shopping channels’ advertisements make false or excessive claims, the Korea Consumer Agency (KCA) said on Tuesday.

These ads wrongfully used phrases such as “the lowest price ever” and “once-in-a-lifetime discount” in order to lure in customers, the agency said.

The agency conducted an investigation from Sept. 21 to Oct. 21 last year and found out 70 percent, or a total of 70 advertisements, that were broadcasted during this period had problems with their content.

The agency said 82.9 percent of the 70 items that used false or excessive ads were found to be available in other places such as the Internet, even though the ads state that the product is only available on their own site or channels. The KCA added that it found the products being sold cheaper elsewhere.

The growing number of complaints prompted the consumer agency to conduct the investigation. The agency said they have received 2,879 complaints related to such advertisements from January 2012 to December 2015. There were a total of 1,301 claims last year, which was more than double the 597 in 2014.

False or excessive advertisements on food and other personal items warranted the most complaints, followed by daily supplies, kitchenware or home accessories and cosmetics.

The KCA said some of the TV home shopping channels’ own mobile apps had certain features that might also confuse customers by showing the lowest prices, even though a customer might not be eligible to receive discounts.

The KCA also surveyed a total of 1,000 frequent home shopping customers to see how they feel about local TV home shopping businesses in general.

The agency found that 33.3 percent of the respondents said they were not satisfied with purchased products because they were different from what they expected from advertisements. Some 28 percent criticized the programs for not fully explaining the products they sell.

BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]

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