A website for clothing retailer Boohoo, www.ie.boohoo.com, seen in December 2017. A tab at the top of the website said “€2.99 NEXT DAY DELIVERY* USE CODE: NEXTDAY”. The tab led to a page that stated in text at the top of the page “NEW: ORDER BEFORE MIDNIGHT FOR NEXT DAY DELIVERY* - €6. Order by midnight Monday to Thursday or by 8pm Friday for next day delivery* Dublin County only” Beneath that text stated “€5.99 REPUBLIC OF IRELAND NEXT DAY DELIVERY. Next Day delivery if ordered by 1pm Monday to Thursday or for Dublin Country order by midnight Monday to Thursday or by 8pm Friday*”.
Five complainants, who claimed they either did not receive next day delivery for their items or understood Boohoo were unable to provide a next day delivery service to consumers in Ireland, challenged whether the ad was misleading.
Boohoo.com UK Ltd t/a Boohoo said the next day delivery promotion on their Irish website was subject to certain cut-off times. Customers ordering in the Republic of Ireland had to order by 1pm Monday to Thursday to qualify for next day delivery, which was stated in text on the "Delivery Information" section of their website. For Dublin County only, customers had to order by midnight Monday to Thursday or 8pm on Friday, which was also stated on the same section of the website.
Boohoo said they were unable to find details as to why customers who placed their order over the Christmas and New Year period did not receive their next day delivery and presumed they missed the cut-off time. Boohoo said that in the examples of cases where a delivery was not received on time, reasons could include the customer not being at home, incorrect address details having been given, the courier being unable to access the property, traffic delays or unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract.
Boohoo also provided figures that showed the numbers of orders it received and the number of successful orders made to customers from December 1 2017 to February 2 2018. The figures included the number of late or lost deliveries and the number of outstanding queries on orders.
The ASA considered that consumers would understand from the claims “€2.99 NEXT DAY DELIVERY* USE CODE: NEXTDAY”, “NEW: ORDER BEFORE MIDNIGHT FOR NEXT DAY DELIVERY* - €6. Order by midnight Monday to Thursday or by 8pm Friday for next day delivery* Dublin County only” and “€5.99 REPUBLIC OF IRELAND NEXT DAY DELIVERY. Next Day delivery if ordered by 1pm Monday to Thursday or for Dublin Country order by midnight Monday to Thursday or by 8pm Friday” that orders placed before those times would generally be delivered the next day except in exceptional or unforeseeable circumstances outside of Boohoo’s control.
We noted that a number of the complainants who had ordered during the Christmas and New Year period did not receive their order on time. We understood that reasons for unsuccessful delivery included the customer not being at home, incorrect address details having been given, the courier being unable to access the property, traffic delays or other circumstances beyond their control. We referred to the data that Boohoo provided and noted that they had robust data for the percentage of deliveries received one day after the order was placed. We considered that, despite the experience of some of the complainants, Boohoo had provided sufficient evidence to show that they were able to deliver the next day in the vast majority of cases, when orders were made before the set cut-off times, and concluded that the claim was not misleading.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that the consumer needs to make informed decisions in relation to a product. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead the consumer depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the marketing communication is constrained by time or space, the measures that the marketer takes to make that information available to the consumer by other means. (Misleading advertising), 3.7 3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation. (Substantiation) and 3.9 3.9 Marketing communications must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify. (Qualification) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.