The home page of the parcel delivery comparison website www.parcel2go.com, seen on 22 August 2019, included a link to “Quote & Book” which led to a list of companies that provided delivery services. Under the column “Next Day+ Delivery”, “UPS Access Point” delivery was listed with the text “Drop off your parcel anytime today”. Clicking on linked text that stated “More Info” brought up a pop-up box which included the text “Delivery within 1-2 working days”. Under a section titled “service details” additional text stated “Delivery will be made within 1-2 working days”.
Further down the “Next Day+ Delivery” column, “Hermes ParcelShop Next Day” delivery was listed with the text “Drop off your parcel anytime today”. Linked text that stated “More Info” brought up a pop-up box which included the text “Delivery within 1-2 working days”.
Two complainants, who understood that the “UPS Access Point” and “Hermes ParcelShop Next Day” delivery services could take one to two working days, challenged whether the “Next Day+ Delivery” claims were misleading and could be substantiated.
Parcel2Go.com Ltd t/a Parcel2Go said that clicking on the “More info” text brought up information which clearly stated that it was a one to two day service. Parcel2Go stated that the presentation of the service as “Next Day+”, indicated that the service may take longer than one day. They provided a table of data which showed the percentage of Hermes and UPS deliveries that were delivered the next day and within two days. They said that 95% of parcels were delivered within two days and the majority were delivered in one day.
The ASA considered that consumers would understand “Next day+ delivery” to mean that if they selected the UPS and Hermes next day delivery service, their parcel would generally be delivered to the recipient the next working day. We considered that consumers would understand the inclusion of the “+” symbol to mean that the next day service would include an additional feature.
Further information outlining the delivery time appeared in a pop-up box under the section titled “More Info”, which, when clicked on, stated “Delivery within 1-2 working days”. However, we considered that the presentation of this information was not immediately clear and was insufficient to counteract the overriding impression that deliveries would generally be received on the next working day. We considered that although consumers would also appreciate that some orders might be late, they would generally expect orders to arrive on time, barring exceptional or unforeseen circumstances outside of Parcel2Go’s control.
We acknowledged that although Parcel2Go stated that 95% of their Hermes and UPS parcels were delivered within two days, only 89% of UPS parcels and 77% of Hermes parcels were delivered the next day. We considered that a next day delivery rate of 89% and 77% were not sufficient to substantiate the claim and Parcel2Go did not provide any evidence to support the delivery data they provided.
For those reasons we concluded the claim had not been substantiated and therefore breached the Code. 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) 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 Parcel2Go.com Ltd not to use the claim “Next Day+ Delivery” for deliveries which took one to two working days.