ASA Adjudication on M Blue Ltd
M Blue Ltd t/a
Sony Playstation Repairs
1391 London Road (Ref J35)
Leigh on Sea
13 June 2012
Internet (on own site)
Number of complaints:
A website offering video game console repairs, www.sonyplaystationrepairs.co.uk, accessed in December 2011. Under the question, "How does it work?" text stated, "Step 1: Choose your Playstation repair. Step 2: Send us your Playstation by post. Step 3: We repair and test your Playstation. Step 4: We return repaired Playstation within 3-5 days". Further text stated, "If you can't find your repair on our website please contact us and we will be happy to assist". By clicking on a console from a list on the home page, a list of possible repairs for that console was accessed.
The complainant challenged whether the website was misleading because it did not make it clear that consumers would still be charged if their console was beyond economic repair.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
M Blue Ltd stated that there were two main options on their website for how to proceed with a repair request: the consumer could contact them to arrange a diagnosis; or they could diagnose the fault themselves and request a specific repair from the lists provided. They stated that in this case the complainant had opted for the self-diagnosis option and selected a particular repair. M Blue Ltd asserted that they had completed the requested repair but the console was still not functioning due to additional problems. They then investigated and came to the conclusion that the console was beyond economic repair due to additional faults. They therefore sent the console back to the consumer with information that they considered it beyond economic repair.
M Blue Ltd did not believe that the website was misleading because they carried out the repairs that were requested of them when the self-diagnosis option was chosen. They said that a full refund was made where the self-diagnosed repair was not successfully repaired. They said the terms and conditions listed on the website were clear in respect of refunds.
The ASA noted that the complainant had chosen the flashing red light repair from the list provided on the website. We noted that the complainant had paid for this repair but that the product had been returned with a message that it was considered beyond economic repair, due to other faults. We noted M Blue Ltd stated that they had carried out the repair that was ordered but when the console was still not working they conducted a diagnosis and discovered that due to other issues it was beyond economic repair.
We noted the website listed specific repairs and their prices. We understood that if a consumer selected a repair from the list that M Blue Ltd would carry out the requested repair and refund the consumer if the repair was unsuccessful. We also understood that if the specific repair was successful but, due to other faults, the device was still not functioning, M Blue Ltd would return the device to the consumer and advise them if other work was required.
We considered the fact that M Blue Ltd would still charge for the requested repair if it transpired that due to other faults the device would not be returned to working order without further work was a significant condition that should have been made clear to consumers. Because it was not, we considered that the website omitted material information that was necessary for consumers to make an informed decision. We therefore concluded that the website was misleading.
The website breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising) and 3.9 (Qualification).
We told M Blue Ltd to amend the website to make it clear that they would charge for the full cost of the repair whether or not further work was required to return the device to full working order.