In recent weeks, the Advertising Standards Agency have advised two companies Homebase and Safestyle that claims against them have been upheld and that their marketing messages must not be repeated but found in favour of Wayne windows trading history.
The claim against Homebase Ltd whilst not window products is a warning to every trader about “normal pricing” it seems Homebase had sold very few lawnmowers at the introductory price of £139.99 for the first weeks of 2015, until it went on promotion at the lower price of £111.99. However the price reverted back to £139.99 just days before a 15% off weekend in February making the machine £118.99 and a 15% saving against the “normal price”
The ASA decided £11.99 was the normal price as Homebase hadn’t sold any products at the introductory price and that they shouldn’t advertise it again like way, read the full article here
HPAS trading as Safestyle UK meanwhile, were advised that their adverts had to be changed for the future. This centred around the fact that they did not provide evidence to support offers made, where not sale took place.
They noted “that from the beginning of 2015 until the time the complainant saw the ad in early March there had been only one three-day period, in January, at which no promotional price was offered against Safestyle’s standard prices. Although there had also been a non-promotional period of 35 days at the end of 2014, the products had been offered at either 55% off or (for 14 days) on a buy-one-get-one free promotion for the majority of the preceding three months”.
They went on to say that,
“Because the products had been available at the 55% off promotional price, and at other promotional prices, for a period that exceeded those at which the full price was available during the months leading up to the identical promotion, we considered the 55% saving claim was not based on the price at which the products were usually sold. Because we considered that the claim would be understood to be based on the usual selling price of the products, but that was not the case, we concluded that the ads were likely to mislead consumers”
So all companies should consider keeping quotes to demonstrate offers were made even if not taken up, and to ensure the offers are against the “normal prices” not just a period of 30/60/90 days beforehand. Read the full article here.
Wayne Windows Ltd of Bognor Regis however were not in trouble despite their advert claiming their company was a family run business since 1975 but wasn’t limited until April 1990. Like so many window companies, they started as sole traders and it was a real family affair. They could provide some invoices to confirm their claim, and demonstrate that from 1975 up until 1989, members of the Wayne family had worked for the business, before it was incorporated, the ASA accepted that that documentation no longer existed. Read the full extract here.
So do keep documentation beyond the statutory 10 years it helps support claims in the future.
You can check the length of time a company has been limited, just click on the company tab against each company listed on doubleglazingcompanies.com