back to article Carphone Warehouse thwacked by UK Advertising watchdog for a Cyber Monday wobble

UK phone-slinger The Carphone Warehouse has received a slap on the wrist from the Brit advertising watchdog after an offer proved a tad too popular. angry man Carphone Warehouse fined £29m for mis-selling mobile insurance to punters who didn't need it READ MORE In news that will warm the heart of Tim Cook, the oversubscribed …

  1. djstardust

    This is intentional

    We had EXACTLY the same issue with a discounted Galaxy S7 Edge a couple of years ago. System showed it as in stock, placed the order then heard nothing.

    After repeated emails and calls they admitted the system couldn't handle all the orders and would we like something else?

    Took 10 days to get a refund.

    Now the cynic in me adds up all the interest from the orders placed but not fulfilled and that's a lot of money. Not to mention all the premium rate calls on their "special" number for customer service.

    If it was a genuine system fault it should be well fixed by now.

    Bastards!

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Premium rate calls

      If you need to call that because of their screw up: you should add the cost of the premium call to any refund that you get. If they argue: add the cost of your time that they have wasted.

      You can always find an alternative number at saynoto0870.com

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: Premium rate calls

        I complain so often that I have a rule.

        After the third letter, after having explained the situation, given a chance for goodwill to take hold, a chance to understand the facts, do some groundwork, back-and-forth a little in a reasonable manner... after the third letter, I start a tally on the bottom of the letter which includes not only the refund/whatever I'm after but also ongoing costs.

        Down to the envelope, the paper, the phonecall cost, and the postage stamp. Not to mention a separate tally of my time, and my billable rates.

        It encourages them to resolve early, especially because I rarely write until I have exhausted genuine first-line grievance processes by other means.

        Some pay it. Some question. Some pay a token compensation on top of the refund to cover some of it. Some ignore and then only refund and hope I'll just forget about all that other stuff (which I often do but it depends).

        When they threaten me with court (which is surprisingly common when I'm the one with the genuine complaint, which is incredibly strange when you realise that I've never actually been to court once in my entire life so their success rate isn't very high), I say that I'll add those costs on to the outstanding complaint. Lawyers do, why shouldn't I, even in a small claims motion?

        It focuses their mind from "oh, we can just fob him off with another letter", generally. Even if they write to say they won't be paying that, it then makes them put a win for me somewhere else in the same letter to appease.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is intentional

      "Not to mention all the premium rate calls on their "special" number for customer service"

      FYI, the Consumer Contract Regulation 2013 banned premium-rate (non-local/geographic) phonen numbers for after-sales support from June 2014.

    3. Olivier2553 Silver badge

      Re: This is intentional

      I love that here, Thailand, it is all "pay on delivery", it makes the online shopping all the more safe.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if Apple were behind the promotion by discounting a limited number of handsets to CPW to try and get their huge pile of unsold and eye wateringly expensive XRs into the hands of the great unwashed rather than billionaires.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      discounting a limited number of handsets to CPW to try and get their huge pile of unsold

      A contradiction there - if you are right, selling a limited number cheap would not fix a sales problem. Once people know a price has dropped, getting it up again can take years.

      I think releasing very expensive products into an export market just as your country starts a trade war is unfortunate, but perhaps what we are seeing is that Apple is turning into a "normal" vendor, having to offer concealed discounts via contracts a few months after launch.

      Xiaomi's recent announcement of truly amazing growth in a stagnant market may be a pointer. Now if only they'd release a sensible sized phone with waterproofing...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: discounting a limited number of handsets to CPW to try and get their huge pile of unsold

        >A contradiction there - if you are right, selling a limited number cheap would not fix a sales problem. Once people know a price has dropped, getting it up again can take years.

        Not a contradiction at all and is a well established marketing ploy

        https://www.adweek.com/creativity/9-subtle-marketing-tricks-we-fall-every-time-we-shop-159332/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: discounting a limited number of handsets to CPW to try and get their huge pile of unsold

          I can't read it as it is paywalled, so perhaps you would explain how it works in this case?

          1. Jamesit
            Happy

            Re: discounting a limited number of handsets to CPW to try and get their huge pile of unsold

            Noscript blocks the paywall, The article is readable however not all the pictures show.

            I didn't know it was paywalled till I enabled scripts.

      2. ma1010 Silver badge

        Re: discounting a limited number of handsets to CPW to try and get their huge pile of unsold

        Xiaomi's recent announcement of truly amazing growth in a stagnant market may be a pointer. Now if only they'd release a sensible sized phone with waterproofing...

        Or one that would work properly in the US. Had my eye on one that looked perfect, then found that, although it IS GSM, it uses the wrong bands for most US carriers, including mine. Sigh.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just another ASA farce

    ASA: That's naughty, don't do it again

    Naughty: We're disappointed to be called naughty.

    Now calculate odds on this having any deterrent effect at all on Naughty?

    IBM once advertised RFID tags in the UK with massive dishonesty, showing a scenario of a delivery truck, lost in the desert, finding its way to safety with the help of the RFID chips on the goods in the trailer.

    When I pointed out the idiocy of this to the ASA, their response stated that the ads were just extending the concept and permissible poetic licence. They did so using a form of words taken directly from their own texts on what is NOT permissible. Having read that text before submitting my complaint, it seemed sadly probable that the writer, having been handsomely BRIBED was now just thumbing his nose at me.

    Probity? They'll need a Dictionary.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just another ASA farce

      "Naughty: We're disappointed to be called naughty."

      Indeed. The ruling from the industry's self-"policing" chocolate teapot said that the advert "must not appear again in its current form".

      Where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, every- and I mean *every*- fucking time the ASA tells a company to stop running a campaign that finished six months prior anyway and has long been replaced by a different set of lies.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Self policing

        "Self policing", hmmm, definitely merits the quote marks.

        Somehow it's "Self something-else-completely-different" that springs to my mind.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Just another ASA farce

      "having been handsomely BRIBED"

      The verb you're looking for is "salaried". The ASA isn't a regulator in the normal sense. It's an industry body. Whether the writer's salary was handsome or not is another matter. I suppose in that case there might have been some merit in reporting the ASA to itself for breaching its own advertised standards.

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Just another ASA farce

        A few years ago someone wrote to PC Pro's consumer advice column about problems they were having with a ... PC Pro subscription. To the magazine's credit they a) fixed it and b) published it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Salaried

        Thank you,

        I just hadn't understood the proper form of words to use previously.

        ;-)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just another ASA farce

      The most amazing thing about that IBM ad was that someone I knew who I thought was technical believed it and told a customer. Shit hit fan.

      But I notice now a Conservative MP believes it too- he thinks GPS trackers should be put into knives, having obviously confused GPS and RFID tags.

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