The consumers could be allowed to take out a criminal prosectution against businesses that "rip them off" under the proposed changes to the Unfair Commercial Practices (UCP) directive.
European Parliament has adopted a resolution by demanding countries that have implemented the UCP allow buyers to seek direct action rather than relying on an government to act on their behalf.
The UCP directive has been implemented in the UK as part of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs), in the UK it states to prohibit misleading or aggressive commercial practices. There are also practices that have been made a criminial offense (www.snipurl.com/atntu).
So what does all that mean well in short it means that countries who have adopted the UCP are required to state to companies that a company cannot falsely say that a product will only be available for a short time to elicit an immediate sale or to make persistant solictations by phone, fax or email.
Businesses could face a fine up-to £5000 if found guilty or a conviction of upto 2 years in prison. Criminal prosecutions could be brought by the Office of Fair Trading, Local Authority Trading Standards.
According to my understanding websites offering a discount on a countdown would be subject to this UCP if a consumer reports it to the local authority, unless it can be proved that the sale is for a genuine reason.
Only countries in the EU who have adopted the UCP under European Law are affected, sources from European Parliament
Any comments are welcomed just thought I would share this info I have just come across.