A car park banner advertisement for Tesco stated:
“FREE home delivery for everyone over 65 when you shop online.
Ask in-store for details.”
The complainant said that he saw the advertisement at the Ballinamore store. He felt that the advertisement was misleading as, upon enquiring about the service, he was advised that home delivery was not available from that particular store.
The advertisers said they set themselves the highest standards and were concerned to hear of this complaint. They advised that their grocery delivery service operates from 20% of stores nationwide, however the service reaches over 80% of their customers. They said that while this customer’s address was unfortunately not covered by their current online operation, it was possible that other customers in the area could avail of the service from other stores.
In terms of the relevant Code sections, they said that their advertising leaflet informs customers that full Terms and Conditions are available online at Tesco.ie. They said these Terms and Conditions inform the customer that delivery addresses must be in areas of Ireland which are serviced by the Tesco.ie delivery service and that details of those areas are also available on Tesco.ie. They said that when a customer is registering for online shopping, they are made aware of coverage availability. They further said that the advertisement provided customers with two means of communication to get started and to be informed of the service; they advise customers to either visit Tesco,ie or to call them.
Lastly, they said that there are numerous reasons why they can or cannot deliver to specific areas, and that these would include system and operational constraints. They advised that they do review their areas annually and expand them where possible in order to try and reach more homes. They said they would take this customer’s location into consideration as part of their next review.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee accepted that there may be limits as to the extent of which the delivery service could be operated and they acknowledged that full terms and conditions are available on the website. However, they considered that it should have been clear from the specific advertisement referenced in the complaint that terms and conditions applied and that the service was subject to availability, and this was not the case. They further felt that the use of the word ‘everyone over 65’ in the advertisement had the potential to mislead as the service is only available to those in certain locations. In the circumstances, the Committee considered that the advertisement was in breach of code sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10.
The advertisement must not reappear in its current form.