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.


Non-optional charges

Rule 3.18 of the CAP Code states that quoted prices must include non-optional taxes, duties, fees and charges that apply to all or most buyers.

If it is not possible to calculate the charge in advance, for example because it depends on the consumer’s circumstances, the advertisement must make clear that the charge is excluded from the advertised price and state how it will be calculated (Rule 3.19).

One off charges

The ASA does not ask for all compulsory charges to be included in prices: one-off and periodic charges may be presented separately, providing the ad makes it clear that these are payable, and what they are.

VAT

VAT must be included in any quoted price, unless all those to whom the price claim is clearly addressed pay no VAT or can recover VAT. Such VAT-exclusive prices must be accompanied by a prominent statement of the amount or rate of VAT payable. If a product or service is available to both customers who pay VAT and those who don’t, VAT-inclusive prices should be given.  Ads may also state VAT-exclusive prices however marketers should ensure that a VAT-inclusive price is given at least equal prominence to the VAT-exclusive price. 

The ASA upheld complaints about an ad for printing products which stated a VAT-exclusive price only, because they considered that both business and non-business consumers may wish to purchase these products. They told the advertiser to ensure that, where an ad was directed at both consumers and businesses, the VAT-inclusive price was given, and that VAT-exclusive prices were accompanied by a prominent statement of the amount or rate of VAT payable (Computer Risk Management Ltd, 30 March 2016).

See also: Compulsory costs and charges: VAT

Delivery fees

Marketing communications that state prices must also state applicable delivery, freight or postal charges. Sometimes, it is not possible to include a charge in the quoted price, for example, a delivery charge that depends on the number of items ordered, the charge should be stated prominently (Rule 3.20).

If it is not possible to calculate the charge in advance, for example because it depends on the consumer’s circumstances, the advertisement must make clear that the charge is excluded from the advertised price and state how it will be calculated (Rule 3.19).

See Compulsory costs and charges: Delivery fees

Credit and debit card fees

See Compulsory costs and charges: Credit and debit card fees

Sector specific guidance

Compulsory costs and charges: Letting agents

Employment and recruitment: Fees and charges

Compulsory costs and charges: Secondary ticket providers

Compulsory charges: Telecommunications       


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