Claims on a website for domain hosting service, www.webhost.uk.net, stated "Shared Hosting Ideal for personal, budget orientated, professional and e-Commerce websites with 99.9% uptime and money back guarantee on Windows and Linux servers". On clicking the "ORDER NOW" button for the Shared package, it led through to another page with four options, which all stated "99.9% Uptime Server". The text in "Guarantees" section stated "99.99% Uptime Guarantee".
The complainant, who had the 'shared' service, challenged whether the claim "99.9% Uptime Server" was misleading, because they had experienced three network failures in the last three months.
WEBHOSTUK said they offered a 99.9% uptime guarantee with their shared and reseller web hosting plans. They explained that for the server uptime guarantee, they calculated the total uptime of the server and not the uptime of any service running on the server. They stated they provided customers with credit if downtime was suffered and the uptime guarantee was not met. They said every customer who had signed up with their service had accepted their Terms of Service, which clearly stated that customers could receive credit if their server had physical downtime.
The ASA acknowledged WEBHOSTUK said they offered a 99.9% uptime guarantee. We understood from the complainant that they had experienced three significant network failures whilst using the service. Because we had seen no evidence that WEBHOSTUK provided a 99.9% server uptime, we concluded that the claim had not been substantiated and the ad 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 3.11 3.11 Marketing communications must not mislead consumers by exaggerating the capability or performance of a product. (Exaggeration).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told WEBHOSTUK not to make claims for which they did not hold adequate substantiation.