Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both of which were Upheld
A website, www.officialiphoneunlock.co.uk, for phone unlocking services seen on 24 September 2015 featured the PayPal logo along with the text "Sales/Support 0843 289 4084".
The complainant challenged whether:
1. the ad was misleading because they understood that the PayPal method of payment was not available; and
2. the support number provided was genuine because they understood that it was not answered but played music whilst consumers were charged.
1. Officialiphoneunlock stated that PayPal was a method of payment offered to trade customers only and once a consumer was directed to make a payment the relevant payment options were made available.
2. Officialiphoneunlock said that they did answer calls and did not make money from the support line which cost them money to operate.
The ASA considered that consumers viewing the website would be likely to understand that Paypal was a method of payment that could be used, because the logo was displayed prominently on the website home page. The website included no information to explain that Paypal was available to trade customers only. We therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.
On that point, the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising).
We considered that consumers viewing the website would understand that the Officialiphoneunlock "Sales/Support" number was an active customer support line and that calls made to it would be answered. We noted that Phonepay Plus had the number listed as a business number which charged callers 10p per minute. Officialiphoneunlock did not provide us with evidence to substantiate that calls were answered. We therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.
On that point, the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising) and 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)
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Official iPhone Unlock Ltd not to imply that Paypal was available for all customers, or that they provided an active customer support line, if neither was the case.