ASA Adjudication on Chain Reaction Cycles Ltd
Chain Reaction Cycles Ltd
4 July 2012
Internet (on own site)
Number of complaints:
Claims on a website for a bicycle retailer, www.chainreactioncycles.com, stated "FREE DELIVERY ON EVERYTHING Chain Reaction Cycles offer FREE delivery to anywhere in the UK or Ireland, with no minimum order value. We also offer a range of guaranteed time specific postage options, details of which you can find below. If you order before 3pm Monday-Friday and all your items are in stock, we aim to provide same day dispatch. Bikes and custom wheel builds will not be same day dispatch as we will take time to build and inspect your product before releasing it for dispatch".
The complainant challenged whether the claim "If you order before 3pm Monday-Friday and all your items are in stock, we aim to provide same day dispatch" was misleading and could be substantiated.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Chain Reaction Cycles (Chain Reaction) said their delivery page advised customers that they aimed to deliver items within the stated timescales, rather than making a customer promise. They explained that the dispatch aim was an interim step and they were currently undertaking a full review of their delivery terms and conditions and the processes behind them. They noted the complainant had complained about three separate orders.
The complainant made the first order on Saturday 18 February. Chain Reaction said the ad stated "if you order before 3pm Monday - Friday, we aim to provide same day dispatch". They said the item was dispatched on Monday 20 February, which was within the aspirational dispatch time stated in the ad.
The complainant made the second order before 3pm on Friday 16 March and the item was dispatched the next working day. Chain Reaction said they appreciated that was outside their target dispatch time but reiterated that was a target and not a guarantee. They stated customers did have the option to pay extra for urgent delivery to ensure receipt when required, however that option was not used by the complainant. They explained their peak order volumes occurred over weekends and therefore Monday orders were the most difficult to dispatch within the target times.
The third order was placed on 1 April and the item was still being processed on 13 April. Chain Reaction apologised for the error in the processing of the order. They submitted an invoice to show they received a delivery of the products on 31 March, which were coded and sent to store and therefore advertised for sale online. They said when the picker went to the stock location, they found that not all of the items ordered were available. They said they were unable to locate the items after a search by their stock audit team and the stock quantity on their website was therefore cancelled. They apologised for the delay that occurred while they investigated the missing stock.
Chain Reaction said they dispatched on average 45,000 orders per week and from time to time they encountered stock errors and problems which prevented them from fulfilling orders. They said the complainant's third order was an example of such an instance. They submitted evidence to demonstrate that they had dispatched items on the same day where possible and that covered a large number of orders.
The ASA considered that consumers would read the claim "we aim to provide same day dispatch" to be aspirational rather than as a guarantee concerning Chain Reaction's dispatch time. We acknowledged Chain Reaction said the claim was only a target and that alternative options were available for customers to book guaranteed delivery times. We understood Chain Reaction sent out the first order within target and dispatched the second order one working day later than the target timescale. We noted Chain Reaction had supplied an invoice that showed they had the items for the third order in stock at the time the complainant placed their order and explained that the dispatch was delayed because they were unable to locate the stock. We acknowledged Chain Reaction said companies could experience stock errors and problems and the third order was an example of such instance. We noted the steps they intended to take to ensure they minimised stock errors and reviewed their delivery processes and we noted the evidence they supplied to show that they aimed to and had successfully dispatched orders on the same day where possible. Because we considered the claim "we aim to provide same day dispatch" was a target and not a customer guarantee, we concluded that the ad was not misleading.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.