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Medium: Internet (Company Website)
ASAI Code 6th Edition: 1.6c, 2.22, 2.24, 2.45
The advertisers website offered the following items at half price:
“PC Trolley with Shelf - Metal and Beech Effect Less Than Half Price
€21.99 – was €54.99
Dalton 2 Drawer Coffee Table - Dark Walnut Finish Less Than Half Price
€44.99 - was €124.99
Slimline Hall Storage Unit with Jute Box - Chocolate Less Than Half Price
€42.99 - was €111.99
Maine Extra Deep Bookcase with 2 Drawers - Pine Effect Less Than Half Price
€35.99 - was €81.99
Chequer TV Entertainment Unit - Beech Effect Less Than Half Price
€32.99 - was €82.99
Maine Tall Wide Extra Deep Bookcase - Pine Effect Less Than Half Price
€24.99 - was €61.99”
Further details/description was also provided on each product advertised.
The complainant said that it had come to her attention in recent months that Argos were advertising items on their website for ‘less than half price’ when the items were out of stock in their Irish stores. She said she was particularly interested in purchasing the PC Trolley with shelf unit as advertised. She tried to purchase the item on many occasions over a three week period and each time the item was out of stock in every Irish store. Using the other website address provided by the advertisers www.checkargos.com to check on stocks, the complainant said that she could see that the item had never been in stock in Irish stores. She said this also seemed to be the case with the other items listed above.
The advertisers said that all the products mentioned by the complainant were classed as ‘RO Cat 82’ which meant they had stopped offering them at the end of January. All of the items had been removed from their UK website but it appeared to be the case that they had not been removed from their Irish website and therefore their Irish customers were receiving old out of date information.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They noted that while the advertisers had amended their UK website, their Irish website had not been updated, and they continued to advertise products to their Irish customers which were not available for them to purchase. They considered in the circumstances that the advertisers had breached Sections 2.22 and 2.24 of the Code.
The advertisers’ website should be amended in a timely fashion where products being advertised are no longer available.