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ASA Adjudication on Dial a Rod Homecover Ltd

Dial a Rod Homecover Ltd

3 Victoria Works
The Fairway
Petts Wood
Kent
BR5 1EG

Date:

9 May 2012

Media:

Internet (on own site)

Sector:

Financial

Number of complaints:

1

Complaint Ref:

A12-185644

Background

Summary of Council Decision:

Three issues were investigated all of which were Upheld.

Ad

Claims on the home page of www.dialarod.tv/, a company providing heating and boiler breakdown cover, seen in December 2011, stated "We will be at your premises within one hour of your call to out [sic] 24 hour helpline.  All our work is guaranteed and comes with 100% satisfaction or your money back".

On the 'Heating Cover' page of the website, further text stated "WE ARE NOT ON COMPARISON SITES AS THERE IS [sic] NO OTHER COMPANIES THAT CAN COMPETE WITH OUR PRICES OR LEVEL OF SERVICE".

Issue

The complainant challenged whether the following claims were misleading and could be substantiated:

1.  "We will be at your premises within one hour of your call to out [sic] 24 hour helpline";

2.  "All our work is guaranteed and comes with 100% satisfaction or your money back"; and

3.  "WE ARE NOT ON COMPARISON SITES AS THERE IS [sic] NO OTHER COMPANIES THAT CAN COMPETE WITH OUR PRICES OR LEVEL OF SERVICE".

CAP Code (Edition 12)

Response

Dial a Rod Homecover Ltd (Dial a Rod) explained that the customer in question was refunded as they were unable to get an engineer out to her, as it was a very busy period. However, they did not respond formally on any of the points of complaint.

Assessment

1. Upheld

The ASA noted that Dial a Rod had maintained that in this instance they had refunded the complainant because they were unable to supply an engineer within one hour, as stated on their website.  We also noted that it took Dial a Rod nearly a week to send out an engineer to the complainant's home, following a number of calls to their helpline, at least one of which was not answered.  We considered that Dial a Rod had not provided any evidence to demonstrate that a typical customer would be seen by an engineer within one hour of a call, or that their helpline was manned for 24 hours per day.  We therefore considered that the claim "We will be at your premises within one hour of your call to out [sic] 24 hour helpline" had not been substantiated and concluded that the claim was misleading.

On this point, the claim breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).

2.  Upheld

We noted that Dial a Rod maintained that they had refunded the customer in question because they had not been able to send an engineer out to her. However, we also noted that the complainant was actually refunded by her bank following a number of unsuccesful attempts to contact Dial a Rod, who eventually sent a cheque which the complainant returned because it did not cover the full amount.  We also noted that Dial a Rod had not provided any evidence to show that their work was guaranteed, for example showing the proportion of customers who were satisfied with their service and showing that customers were refunded when they were not satisfied with the work carried out by Dial a Rod.  We therefore considered that the claim had not been substantiated and was therefore misleading.

On this point, the claim breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).

3.  Upheld

We considered that the claim was a superlative claim capable of objective substantiation.  Because we had not received evidence which showed that Dial a Rod were either cheaper or offered better service than all other competitors, we considered the claim had not been substantiated and concluded that the claim was misleading.

On this point, the claim breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 3.38 (Other comparisons).

Action

The claims must not appear in their current form. We told Dial a Rod not to make claims in their advertising unless they were able to substantiate them.

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