PC World cleared over bargain laptop offer

PC World has come under fire from customers who claim that the firm's TV advert for cut-price laptops for £399 were bogus, as the products were not available at the discount price. Two viewers, who had been unable to find the product for less than £499 the day after the ad was aired on 5 December, challenged the availability of the computer at £399.

The complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following a PC World ad offering a Compaq C300EA for £399. In these broadcasts, the price of £499 was crossed out at the bottom of the screen and the accompanying text stated: '£399 save £100'.

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News source: vnunet

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As a lot of people have said - the broadcaster was at fault for showing the advert when the offer had ended.

Hopefully the broadcaster in question will make sure they don't put out any more adverts at the wrong time; maybe then we won't have to put up with those stupid adverts from furniture companies telling us "Sale ends Bank Holiday Monday" being broadcast at 8PM on the Monday in question x)

They sold 1220 at the discounted price of that laptop on the 'extended' day anyway... its not like they refused to sell them!

Lest we forget, an offer of anything is classified as "invitation to treat", meaning that there is no onus on the store to actually sell the product. However, if they do decide to go ahead with the sale then they are obliged to sell at the price the customer expects; a shelf price that is lower than the one at the till has to be honoured as it is not the customer's responsibility to know the adjusted price, but the store's to display it. That being said, an advert that was shown beyond a certain time isn't binding on the store as that price advertising is outside their control. At least they did honour the (void) "agreement" and did sell the laptop at the lower price, even though they didn't need to. Those who complained are just miffed they missed out.

At no point was anybody forced to buy. You see a price for something, go to the store and find it's different, it's up to you if you want to part with the money. Don't want to pay the different price? Fine. Don't buy the product.

mrbester said,
At no point was anybody forced to buy. You see a price for something, go to the store and find it's different, it's up to you if you want to part with the money. Don't want to pay the different price? Fine. Don't buy the product.

You see to me that is false advertising.

For me is simple. Is PC World is morally or legally obliged to sell those laptops cheaper because of a broadcast error, then PC world should seek from compensation from the broadcaster.

Pc world is just full of clueless idiots anyway , and there pc repair areas , what a joke , id rather buy a computer off a dodgy guy on the corner off a street than buy anything from pc world

Aww, so some poor soul was disappointed when they couldn't get their laptop, so instead of getting over it and buying a different one, they decided to complain. Some people are such losers at life.

I know

Why have these people made such a big thing of this??

People are so greedy, always trying to get something out of anything

They aren't, from what it looks like they tried to get the product at the advertised price, however this price was wrong due to a broadcasting error.

How were they expected to know the ad wasn't to be aired that day? They weren't is my answer. On that note then the broadcaster should take the cost due to it being their fault; I know I wouldn't be happy if I had just seen a product advertised on TV that day then when I entered the shop I had to pay £100 more through no fault of my own.

It sounds like an honest mistake. Retailers can't blatantly mislead consumers over here, unless they want to be on the receiving end of massive fines or worse.

it also states...

"PC World sent a sales report which showed that it had also sold 1,220 Compaq C300EA laptops on 5 December at £399"

Even though it was reportedly a broadcasters error, they still sold many on the date at the discount price, these people were being ridiculous even reporting it to be perfectly honest - also I'm guessing the advert would have displayed the date on the ad anyway they were available.

What for it was a mistake.
The only thing reasonable would be sell them the laptop for that price advertised or give them their petrol money back!

Mistakes happen all the time. Don't recall the "bank error in your favor" from Monopoly?

Plenty of times something is advertised at a certain price, people take advantage of it, and then the store realizes it was a mistake and fixes it before they sell anymore. It's not an unheard of thing. If anything, a business should honor the initial price to the people who raise the flag. Afterwards, they fix it, no one else can get it since they can't say it was this price.

They should be compensated. PC world should sell those laptops to those customers at THOSE prices, and the broadcaster should PAY for them because it was their fault to broadcast the ad in the wrong day. So it's the broadcasters fault!

"We also noted that those viewers tried to purchase the laptop on 5 December and the promotion was scheduled to end on 4 December but because of broadcaster error, the ad was mistakenly aired on 5 December without PC World's knowledge.

Why did not the poster also add at the end of the blurb that the ASA rejected the complaints. The title seems to contradict the blurb.

Also I bet those two were just out looking for a fuss