1. ITV Report

Furniture shops investigated for exaggerating discounts

Video report by ITV News consumer editor Chris Choi

Six high street carpet and furniture retailers are under investigation for allegedly using artificially high prices to exaggerate sales and price cuts.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said it opened the investigation after finding that many retailers in the sector were misleading customers into thinking they were getting a bargain by artificially inflating the original price.

It found "systematic" examples of artificially inflated reference pricing within the industry, through the use of 'was' prices formerly charged by the retailer, 'after sale' prices that the trader intended to charge in the future, or recommended retail prices (RRPs) set by the manufacturer.

The OFT is cautiously insisting that nothing illegal has been proven, that their investigation into 'misleading' sale pricing is still ongoing and that they are not yet naming the six companies thought to be involved.

But three chains have told ITV News that they have letters from officials: SCS Furniture, Carpetright and another who preferred not to be named.

Carpetright say they are cooperating with the investigation and aim to do nothing wrong.