Last week I was mugged by a mug. And a magazine. I didn’t order them yet they arrived along with some items I had ordered. Sports Direct automatically add the ridiculously sized and extremely ugly mug to your order along with their own magazine full of their own adverts and charge you £1 for the privilege.
I was fuming when I realised I had fallen for, what can be rightfully called, a scam. Not only was I annoyed at myself for not checking my online basket before paying, I should have known to check it as the exact same thing had happened to a friend a few weeks earlier.
The issue was even reported on by BBC Watchdog last autumn. It featured companies, including Sports Direct, who automatically add items to your basket hoping you won’t realise. The programme explains that some websites are purposely designed specifically to confuse you so you don’t know what they have added until it arrives at your door. Watchdog show how companies are able to use human psychology to confuse you when shopping on these websites so that you ‘miss’ little boxes that have been automatically checked for you. If you haven’t seen it, watch it here. It’s scary stuff.
This a screenshot of the checkout page showing the mug and the magazine that has automatically been added to my basket. Seems obvious when it’s circled but I managed to miss it. You need to manually remove these items, if you realise, so that you don’t get charged. There is an option to return the mug and magazine to get a refund but it will cost more than £1 to post the items back.
Look how stupid the mug is compared to a normal sized mug.
Look how I’m struggling to even lift the mug for this photo
I weighed the mug and it is double the weight of a normal mug. 600g to be exact.
No wonder they are having to sneak them in to people orders. Who in their right mind would buy one of these mug out of choice?
Thankfully (and rightfully so) a law is coming in around June 2014 to prevent companies automatically opting their customers in for optional extras. But until then, be extra vigilant when you are shopping online and double check your basket before hitting the confirmation button.
PS. I have decided to use the mug as lifting weight. I could do with another if anyone has one…?