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Sale Discounts Must Not Be Misleading

Smith City distributed mailers and ran promotions on their website for their ‘Sale of the Century’ over four weeks. The promotion had different products on sale for each of the four weeks and included a Bosch dishwasher, a Samsung washer/drier and a Fisher & Paykel Fridge Freezer.

The Complainant had concerns about the availability of the Bosch dishwasher and Samsung washer/drier given the on-line advertisements did not indicate any stock level limits. The Complainant also questioned the claim made by the Advertiser that the Fisher & Paykel Fridge Freezer sale price offered a $701 saving.

The Advertiser said it had acquired enough Bosch dishwasher and Samsung washer/drier units to meet expected demand based on previous experience and sales history. The Advertiser said the promotion had exceeded these expectations for some products and on-line advertisements were updated to reflect this. The Advertiser agreed to include the statement that stock was “not unlimited” for future on-line advertisements. The Advertiser said the price following the end of the sale for the Fisher & Paykel fridge/freezer was not tied to the price at sale and is determined by a range of factors.

The Complaints Board said the issue of pricing and availability in the advertisements for the Bosch dishwasher and Samsung washer/ drier were not likely to mislead consumers and acknowledged future on-line sale advertisements would state stock was not unlimited. The Board ruled to Not Uphold these parts of the complaint.

The Complaints Board said the Advertiser had not provided substantiation to support the $701 saving claim made in the Fisher & Paykel fridge/freezer advertisement. The Complaints Board ruled to Uphold this part of the complaint. Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Upheld in Part, Not Upheld in Part.


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