Misleading Advertising: the number-direct.co.uk website breaches the UK Advertising Code for misleadingly implying it offers an official TNT contact phone number, when it is in fact a call-forwarding service.
In July 2015 the Compliance team wrote guidance around the advertising of call-forwarding services and specifically what advertisers needed to do to comply with the Code. Essentially, call-forwarding services must make clear they provide a call-forwarding service rather than an official number for third-party services.
A page on the number-direct.co.uk website is headlined “TNT Contact Phone Number”. An 0843 number is listed with the text “Phone the number to contact TNT”. Consumers should be aware, however, that it is possible to contact TNT directly for free on 0800 100 600.
A small disclaimer, stating that Number Direct is “a telephone directory and call routing service and is not connected to TNT”, appears at the very bottom of the page, but this is not sufficiently clear or prominent enough.
In order to comply with the Code, the number-direct.co.uk website should remove all misleading claims that they offer an official TNT number and make expressly clear alongside their own 0843 number that (1) they are not affiliated to TNT and (2) they offer a call-forwarding service.
The CAP Compliance team contacted Number Direct several times to seek an assurance that changes would be made to www.number-direct.co.uk but, in the absence of a response, took the decision on 8 March 2018 to place their company details on this section of the ASA website. These details shall remain in place until such time as Number Direct has removed or appropriately amended the content on www.number-direct.co.uk to ensure compliance with the CAP Code.