The advertisement for the laptop stated the following:
1.1GHz Quad-Core Core i5 Processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz
List of its specifications were outlined. Below the ‘Select’ the following was stated:
“Order today, delivers:
1 May – 6 May – Free”
The complainant considered the delivery dates for the advertised product to be misleading. Having ordered the product, she initially received an email confirming delivery between the two dates. However, 4 days later she received a subsequent email stating that the product would be delivered between 18th and 22nd May. On checking she was told that there were more orders than anticipated.
The complainant said that she then checked the Apple website and the delivery dates were at that point given as between 7th and 11th May. Given her experience, she considered that the dates were likely to mislead.
The advertisers confirmed that the original ship date was changed to a later date and that the date was eventually changed back to the original date due to increased inventory. They said the consumer would have received the device within or before the original time period quoted.
The advertisers said they were as transparent as possible with their customers regarding when they could expect to receive their orders from Apple. They said it was never their intention to show someone one date and then move it back to a later one and considered that to be a terrible customer experience. They said it was their goal to beat their original dates in order to surprise and delight the customer.
The advertisers said that as much as they wanted to meet or beat their original shipping dates, the inventory and availability of product was difficult to predict with certainty. They said that it was dependent on a multitude of factors including the popularity of the product, part availability, and many other elements, and that they tried to keep their quoted shipping times consistent with their best understanding of the current economic environment. They said that, at times, that could mean bringing in shipping dates or at times pushing dates out. They said that dates could also get pushed out and then brought back in as inventory increases, which was what happened in this instance. They said their goal was to always provide customers with the best information.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the delivery dates can change due to multiple factors. However, the advertisement included an absolute claim which did not reflect the actual situation In the circumstances, they considered the advertisement to be in breach of Section 4.1 of the Code.
The advertisement must not appear in its current form.