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Product: Printing and Equipment Provider
Advertiser: PCR Business Solutions
Medium: Online (3rd party)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 4.22, 4.23
A search result on an online shopping platform for a specific printer cartridge listed several provider’s pricing for the cartridge. Information provided for each retailer included:
“Sold by”; “Details & Special offers”; “Item price” and “Total price”.
The advertisers’ listing stated:
“Sold by” - “PCR Business Solutions”
“Details & Special Offers” – “Free Delivery”
“Item price” – “€122.51 (£105.99)”
“Total price” – “€122.51”.
123Ink.ie objected to the advertising on the online shopping platform as the total price advertised did not include VAT. The complainant considered that the advertisers sold to consumers, therefore, they considered that the total price should include VAT.
123Ink.ie objected to the advertising on the online shopping platform as they noted that it claimed “Free Delivery”, however, on clicking through to the advertisers’ website, they stated that shipping costs were an additional charge.
The advertisers said that they experienced a glitch on their Euro ecommerce site which meant that VAT wasn’t showing correctly and that they had since resolved this. The advertisers provided a link to their website to evidence the correction.
The advertisers advised that they did not charge for shipping, therefore, there were no shipping costs.
The Executive noted that the advertisers had commented on their own website and not on the advertising on the online shopping platform and requested the advertisers to provide further comments.
No further response was received from the advertisers.
Issue 2: At the time of the complaint the Executive used the link in the advertisement to the advertisers’ website and noted that delivery was free to Ireland at that time.
Complaint Upheld In Part
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
Issue 1 – Upheld:
The Complaints Committee noted that while comments had been received in relation to a glitch on the advertisers’ ecommerce site, none had been received in relation to the advertising complained about (on the online shopping platform).
The Committee noted the Code requirement that except in marketing communications addressed primarily to the trade, prices quoted should normally include VAT and other taxes. As it had not been demonstrated that the price advertised on the online shopping platform had included VAT, nor had any comment been received as to whether the advertisement was addressed primarily to the trade, the Committee considered that the advertising was in breach of Section 4.23 of the Code.
Issue 2 – Not Upheld:
The Complaints Committee noted that the advertising had stated that the delivery was offered free, and that the Executive had reviewed the website at the time of the complaint where it stated that delivery was free to Ireland at that time. In the circumstances, the Committee did not Consider that the advertising at the time of the complaint was in breach of the Code on the basis suggested in the complaint.
The Committee advised the advertiser that unless their advertising was addressed primarily to the trade, prices advertised should normally include VAT.
The Complaints Committee advised the advertisers that should they charge for delivery, the advertising should be amended to refer to the existence of delivery charges.