PCR test providers have been warned to make sure adverts on prices and result times are accurate or they face possible legal action.
In an open letter to providers, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said practices such as quoting prices that exclude additional charges or are based on tests with limited or no availability, unrealistic result times and no refunds for delays all potentially breach consumer protection law and will lead to enforcement action.
Sarah Cardell, the CMA general counsel, said: “PCR test providers should be in no doubt that they need to get on the right side of the law. If they don’t, they risk enforcement action.
“Our advice today will also help people by setting out exactly what they should expect for their money.”
The CMA’s move follows a warning by the government that 82 firms providing PCR tests face removal from the official list of providers due to ‘rip-off’ prices.
The regulator added that are eleven steps PCR test providers can follow including showing the full cost of tests including all compulsory charges; and providing ‘honest, accurate and clear’ timescales.
Airlines have been highly critical of the cost of PCR tests, which are required for visitors travelling abroad even to green list countries where the risk of Covid-19 is regarded as low.
Travellers need to take a test before they travel and before they arrive back.at costs of more than GBP100 each way for those with same-day results.