Two complaints were raised in respect of an advertisement for men’s shoes which appeared on the website for Lightinthebox. The price was listed as “GBP £34.11 (crossed through) £19.74 (43% off)”. Additional text stated: “Process time 2-5 business days Shipping Time: Expedited Express 2-5 business days”.

The first complaint was that the price claim was misleading and could not be substantiated because of additional fees which consumers had to pay after completing the purchase. The ASA upheld this complaint since they considered that customers would interpret “£19.74” to be inclusive of all non-optional taxes, duties, fees and other charges. Since the product appeared on a UK website, UK buyers (who would have to pay VAT on the goods) were the predominant consumers. The actual total price could have been calculated in advance and should have been included in the advertised price. Therefore, the ASA found that the advertisement breached the CAP Code on the basis that the price claim was misleading, could not be substantiated, and the quoted price did not include all non-optional taxes, duties, fees and charges that would apply to most buyers.

The second complaint was that the processing and delivery claims were misleading and could not be substantiated. The ASA considered that the claims would be interpreted to mean that it would take a maximum of 10 business days after payment to receive the order. However, the product was shipped from China. In the absence of any evidence in support of the delivery claims, the ASA upheld the complaint on the basis that the claim could not be substantiated and was therefore misleading.

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