Maybe we should raise a petiton
to give the ASA some actual powers, such as fining 1% of turnover for misleading ads.
That way, the most prolific lies will be those told by the marketeers when looking for new jobs.
Hosting biz GoDaddy has been slammed by a Brit advertising regulator for "misleading" punters with the lure of cheap deals. The first complaint was made regarding the outfit's advertised £2.99 per month "basic" hosting package. The monthly price was thought to be misleading by complainant Ashley Rumbold because it had to be …
Ah, but they DIDN'T say it was "monthly". They said it was "per month", and there is a rather large difference between the two.
The adverb "monthly" implies a recurring cost on a schedule of one month.
"Per" not only implies division of a large number, in strict form it is explicitly stating it. It does not, however, in an of itself imply the payment schedule. That is when when "per" anything is used, you MUST read the fine print in order to know what you are committing.
If I rent a vehicle that states the cost $100 per day, that does not mean that I have to stop in every day and give them money. Whereas a "daily charge of $100" explicitly means they they are going to charge me each day.
I'd be very pissed off if I was being charged 10x too much, yes.
But when I find the actual terms of the deal I have the right to walk away, and I would simply exercise that right and not go crying to teacher.
I don't know why Go-Daddy are singled out because a lot of old style web hosters try that old cheese.
Showing annual fees as monthly is standard and not really worth getting wound up about.
It's psychology isn't it? You see a lower number so get drawn in. Somehow the thought that it's a better deal sticks with you even after you've multiplied by 12 to get the annual fee.
A bit like those ads you see offering "all that for just <x> pence per day"...which is actually quite a tidy sum once you multiply by 365.
It's when they immediately reserve the domain you just checked for availability on their site, so you can't buy from anyone else.
Someone I know was pitching a TV programme idea to a broadcaster. The idea was apparently being debated about being picked up but the broadcaster liked and registered the .com of his company name for themselves. I told to persue them if he was bothered but he thought they might drop the prog if he did so.
Naturally, GoDaddy denied it had misled anyone: it said customers could configure their order in the cart to select the annual service term that would equate to that monthly price
That's the point your advert doesn't say anything about an annual service and that is why your advert is misleading.
ISP and hosting services have been getting away with misleading pricing adverts for years and it's considered acceptable. Whenever a service is advertised in big print as being at a very low price but the smaller writing says it's for a short period at the start of an annual contract it's misleading.* Otherwise why would they do it like that?
*They may be charging 10p a month for the first three months. But since the customer is committed to the contract all they are doing is redistributing the annual cost.
Symantec do a similar thing with Norton renewals. They currently offer £50 off if you renew online viz £19.99 instead of £69.99. Only if you follow the link to the T&Cs do you find the catch. You are signing up to a recurring automatic renewal at full price next year and onwards.
If it looks too good to be true - it probably isn't true.
All of a sudden this year, they started to add 20% tax on all orders from the UK, assumed I was a Ltd company rather than an individual (sole trader) and no matter how many long conversations I had with them, they refused to remove this charge: they said it was because of UK laws... so I moved my hundreds of domain names to Namecheap, who don't charge 20% tax despite being also based in the US of A.
Oh, and their server farms are killing the planet.
Example: https://www.heartinternet.uk/web-hosting shows the Starter Professional package available for £2.66 per month, plus "BILLED MONTHLY" in capital letters.
Then you click "BUY NOW" and you then find that you can't pay monthly at all. They want you to pay for a year up-front, plus £10 "set up fee".
Heart Internet was bought by a company that was then bought by...
They own so many other companies, you never know you are dealing with them.
I was very happy placing clients with a small hosting company for about 10-12 years, then it was bought by a bigger group, but still okay. Then they were bought by a much much bigger group.
And then GoDaddy bought them!
But you don't know that you are working with GoDaddy as the smaller companies still keep their old names.
In the colonies unscrupulous large companies are allowed to make absurd marketing claims until the Federal Trade Comm. receives enough complaints to investigate. Then depending on politics the criminal corporation may get a slap on the wrist after bilking consumers out of millions annually or they may just get told to discontinue one of many deceptive and often illegal practices. Large corporations consider a million dollar fine the cost of doing business when they are reaping tens of millions annually from consumer fraud.
The UK version ( UK commentards are only too familiar with this) is that a campaign is occasionally ruled illegal some time after it has already ended. And that's all. More often than not the the merest excuse is sufficient to find that "oh no they didn't mislead the public" because obviously no one would really believe that claim and anyway they had the truth on the bottom of the second page in yellow print on a pale green background".."
There are some very tightly defined adverting rules. But these don't seem to apply to business models invented later than about 1980.
This post has been deleted by its author
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020