Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the Advertising Standards Authority.
Marketers, especially those whose sales are largely or exclusively via the Internet, often offer goods at prices that exclude delivery charges. If customers can obtain the goods only by paying it, the delivery charge should be included in the price. If, however, customers may collect the good, say from a warehouse or retail outlet, marketers may state the delivery charge in a footnote.
Empire Direct (UK) did not have to include its delivery charge in the quoted price because consumers could collect goods from Leeds, Bradford and Bolton (Empire Direct (UK), 26 February 2003). Marketers should be aware however that the ASA may look unfavourably on on-line retailers which rely on one or a very limited number of collection points, as the reason for placing applicable delivery charges in a footnote.
Time Group Ltd was told that it should include the cost of delivery in its headline price because it either charged a courier delivery charge or a collection charge if consumers wanted to collect their goods (Time Group Ltd, 27 April 2005). Similarly a VistaPrint press ad was considered problematic as the ad did not state that shipping and processing costs applied (VistaPrint Ltd, 4 July 2012).
Advertisers should also avoid using definitive claims such as "free delivery When spending over £200" and "FREE DELIVERY ON ALL ORDERS" if additional delivery charges apply to some postcodes (roomstogo Ltd, 19 June 2013).
If delivery charges vary according to several factors such as customer location, number of products etc, marketers may give a range of delivery charges. The charges quoted should be accurate and reflect the true cost of delivery (Priyankas Design Pvt Ltd t/a Sharnam Art, 6 March 2013).