Empowering consumers by tackling unfair business behaviour during the pandemic

Competition & Markets Authority

Why does it matter?

Unfortunately some businesses have treated consumers unfairly during the Coronavirus pandemic, e.g. by gouging prices or unreasonably refusing refunds. Our service has collated evidence from ~140k people, providing resources to seek support and enabling high-profile cases against businesses guaranteeing refunds of over £245 million by holiday and event providers. 

How did we improve it?

We rapidly developed a service, replacing a form that could not cope with the higher-than-expected volumes of traffic. It was deployed within a week using the GDS front end and has been continuously iterated to better meet the needs of consumers and provide evidence for the CMA’s actions. 

Who does it matter to?

This service supports the general public as consumers, and particularly vulnerable groups. 

Why was this radical?

We first spoke to the CMA on Friday 27 March, and launched the service on 03 April. Between its launch and 03 May, there were ~31,000 submissions. The peak was 6,874 entries in one day. This service is still in use and has now received ~140k submissions