ASA Adjudication on BoilerJuice Ltd
One London Wall
29 June 2011
E-mail, Internet (website content)
Number of complaints:
An e-mail, for a heating oil comparison website, stated "The Buying Weekend Has Started!!! If you have been waiting for the price of oil to drop before you order, now is looking like a great time to place your order!" At the bottom of the e-mail, further text stated "BoilerJuice offers a completely impartial service to both our customers and participating suppliers".
The complainant challenged whether the claim "BoilerJuice offers a completely impartial service to both our customers and participating suppliers" was misleading.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
BoilerJuice Ltd (BoilerJuice) said they were owned by DCC, who owned a number of suppliers, some of which supplied them. They provided a list of their participating suppliers, around 20% of which were owned by DCC. They said all participating suppliers had their own private site where they entered their prices for various delivery options that were displayed on their website. They said when customers obtained quotes they were automatically presented with the cheapest price from all suppliers for the selected area. They said because the system was automated, this service was impartial. They submitted all confirmation e-mails sent to customers who ordered for a specific postcode area during February that showed that four different suppliers were used, one of which was owned by DCC. They also submitted a screen shot of their database system that showed orders made for another postcode area during February. This postcode area showed that three different suppliers were used, one of which was owned by DCC.
They said supplier anonymity was part of their website strategy to achieve competitive prices and said that, if suppliers promoted their identity along with their price, it would serve to increase prices. They said they offered impartial services to their suppliers by allowing them to display their own prices on the website.
The ASA understood BoilerJuice compared the prices of their participating suppliers and offered a service for consumers to purchase oil from these suppliers based on specific criteria. We acknowledged the documents submitted showed that BoilerJuice offered the lowest price available and considered that, because this price was based on the postcode area, type and volume of oil and delivery method as requested by consumers, BoilerJuice had demonstrated that their service was impartial to consumers and their participating suppliers. We concluded that the ad was not misleading.
We investigated under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.
Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)