The magazine published a negative story this week about voucher codes but entrepreneur Pearson says: “One of the ironies of the Which? release is that despite their strap line ‘No advertising, no bias, no hidden agenda’, which increases their trustworthiness, the study clearly promotes whichcompare.co.uk, which is a white label version of the also-mentioned ‘Pricerunner’, another price comparison site, which we suspect operates on a revenue split basis.”
Pearson says Which? doesn’t understand how the voucher and discount code market works. “It’s instead promoted comparison sites, many of which have been under increased scrutiny since it was revealed that some promote the retailers that pay them the highest commission over those retailers that are actually the cheapest," he argues.
“The problem with the Which? study is the lack of ‘apples for apples’ comparison, instead focussing only on a few select products, as well as the fact that Which? are clearly attempting to position themselves in such a way that consumers feel they can trust them more, shown by their subtle plug to their own comparison website.”
The popularity of voucher codes has skyrocketed as the credit crunch has put the squeeze on consumers. On average, more than 1 in 5 people use MyVoucherCodes on a monthly basis to search for and find the best online and printable offline deals and discounts. The company says it saved web savvy consumers, who regularly check the site for top discounts, more than £15m off online purchases.
Pearson says: “Online discount codes are sometimes a short-lived beast, often because retailers want to attract initial interest in their brand through offering some fantastic deals but don’t want the deal to be too much of a loss-leader. Voucher code sites such as ours provide the public with free to use regularly updated deals.”
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