A regional press ad for Milton Property Maintenance, seen on 30 August 2017, stated "All work guaranteed".
The complainant challenged whether the claim "All work guaranteed" was misleading and could be substantiated.
Milton Property Maintenance responded by telephone, saying there had been no recent examples of them needing to carry out work under guarantee. They said that, if remedial work was needed, they would undertake it themselves. They said they would remove the "All work guaranteed" claim from their ad. However, they provided no substantive response to the complaint.
The ASA was concerned by Milton Property Maintenance's lack of substantive response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 1.7 Any unreasonable delay in responding to the ASA's enquiries will normally be considered a breach of the Code. (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
We considered consumers were likely to interpret the claim "All work guaranteed" to mean that any work carried out by Milton Property Maintenance would be covered under guarantee should a subsequent issue occur as a result of the work they had carried out. We understood that the complainant had contacted Milton Property Maintenance to obtain details of the terms of the guarantee, but was unable to obtain a response. While we welcomed Milton Property Maintenance's proposal to remove the "All work guaranteed" claim from their ads, because they had not supplied evidence that work they carried out was covered under guarantee should a subsequent issue occur as a result of their work, we concluded that the claim had not been substantiated and was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (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 3.53 3.53 Marketing communications must not use the word "guarantee" in a way that could cause confusion about a consumer's rights. and 3.54 3.54 Marketing communications must make clear each significant limitation to an advertised guarantee (of the type that has implications for a consumer's rights). Marketers must supply the full terms before the consumer is committed to taking up the guarantee. (Guarantees and after-sales service).
The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Milton Property Maintenance not to claim that their work was covered by guarantee unless that was the case.