Ad descriptionA website for Laptops Direct, www.laptopsdirect.co.uk, seen on 18 February 2019, advertised an electriQ 35" WQHD 100Hz HDR FreeSync Curved UltraWide Gaming Monitor for £339.97. Text above the selling price stated "You save: £310.00".
IssueThe complainant, who had not seen the product sold at the higher price, challenged whether the claim "You save: £310.00" was misleading and could be substantiated.
Buy It Direct Ltd t/a Laptops Direct said that when the product was first added to their system, there had been a data error and the price was incorrectly set to £649.97. They said they spotted the error quickly and rectified it. However, their system was set to calculate savings claims against the highest previous price and therefore made a claim against the incorrect £649.97 price.
Laptops Direct said they had now made a change to their system which would ensure future similar errors were not made. They supplied a pricing history of the product since its launch in November 2018 and the number of units sold at each price point.
The ASA welcomed the action of Laptops Direct to correct the error as soon as they were aware of it. Nevertheless, we considered consumers would interpret the claim to mean a genuine saving against the price at which the product was usually sold at the time the ad appeared. Because Laptops Direct were unable to supply evidence that showed that the savings claim represented a genuine saving against the price at which the product was usually sold at the time the ad appeared, we concluded that the claim was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 3.17 (Prices).
We told Buy It Direct Ltd t/a Laptops Direct not to imply savings were against the usual selling price of products if that was not the case, and to ensure they held adequate substantiation that savings claims represented genuine savings against the price at which product were usually sold.