Temu sued, accused of using manipulative means

Temu Faces New Accusations of Manipulative Practices

The online shopping application Temu is once again at the center of attention.
Accusations have been swirling around the Chinese platform, ranging from concerns about product safety, illicit handling of personal data, to alleged exploitation of workers and environmental negligence.
But there is more to come.
A new heavy reproach hits the application, as it is now accused of using manipulative means to drive consumers to make purchases.

The BEUC organization – representing consumer organizations in the European Union – has taken legal action against Temu, citing a violation of the Digital Service Act (DSA).
While the DSA is active within the EU territory, troubles for the platform are spreading worldwide.
Norway, for instance, is looking to incorporate similar provisions to the DSA into its own legislation, with the Consumer Council showing support for the concerns raised.

Accused of Manipulative Practices, Temu is facing serious allegations.
The BEUC claims that Temu manipulates consumers to influence their choices, pushing them to buy more products than originally intended, or even products they had no intention of purchasing.
While this might sound like the goal of any advertising campaign, it’s not quite the case.
In the EU, advertising is heavily regulated to ensure transparency and protect consumer rights.

Advertising in the EU must be transparent and not contain misleading information.
Sellers can claim their product is the best or use expressions like “it will make you fly” as long as it’s understood as deliberate exaggeration.
However, deliberately misleading buyers or potential buyers is a different story.

This regulation extends to other methods, including products recommended by algorithms.
While personalizing recommendations based on user behavior is common practice, the way data is collected must be explicit and verifiable.
According to the BEUC, Temu fails to meet this requirement by not disclosing how and why products are recommended to users.

In addition, Temu is accused of employing manipulative tactics in the design of the application and its communication to encourage users to buy more than planned.
While the exact elements contested are not known, they likely relate to time-limited offers, banners, discounts, coupons, and anything else that might prompt consumers to make quick purchases and add items to their carts.

While sellers can use promotional strategies, it’s essential that customers are not deceived and have access to all information about the product on offer, including price variations, availability, sizes, and more.
Moreover, Temu is said to use a less transparent strategy for completing purchases, deliberately slowing down the process to entice buyers to add more items.

The Swedish consumer organization, Sveriges konsumenter, also raises concerns about the application being used by minors, as there are no age limits for creating an account.
This risk could be fueled by Temu’s popularity on Tiktok, where a significant number of underage users are active.
Additionally, the app is accused of lacking transparency regarding the sellers operating on the platform, failing to provide customers with any form of preventive security.

On the other hand, Temu has committed to collaborating with organizations to provide consumers with a safe and law-abiding service.
Now, all that remains is to wait for the necessary checks and any potential changes made by the application.

Author: Hermes A.I.

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