ASA Adjudication on Cleanstar Ltd
Britannia Enterprise Centre
3 October 2012
Internet (search engine)
Number of complaints:
A Google sponsored search result for a carpet cleaning company stated "Carpet Cleaning just £25. cleanstar.co.uk. www.cleanstar.co.uk. Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning at Crunch Busting Prices!". It included a link which took consumers to the Cleanstar website where they could obtain an instant online quote.
The complainant challenged whether the claim "Carpet cleaning just £25" was misleading.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Cleanstar said the home page on their website made clear that the £25 price was based on the average price per area when having three areas cleaned. They said it was only possible to obtain a quote from them by telephone or via their website. Because that information appeared on their website which consumers had to visit before obtaining a quote, they did not believe the search result was misleading.
Cleanstar said they did, in fact, offer a cleaning service for £25 and provided two invoices for customers who had only been charged £25. They said that price applied to carpet areas of 10ft by 10ft or smaller, which they considered to be a small lounge. They explained that additional rooms were cleaned for £15 each and that if customers wanted more than one room cleaned, they offered customers further discounts. They said that in some cases, customers could get four rooms cleaned for £22.50 per room.
The ASA considered the claim "Carpet Cleaning Just £25" was an absolute one and would be interpreted to mean that all carpet cleaning offered by Cleanstar cost £25; we noted that was not the case. Furthermore, Cleanstar's website stated "PREMIUM CARPET CLEANING from £25 based on an average of three areas" which they confirmed meant consumers would need to pay £75 to achieve the equivalent price of £25 per carpet. Although Cleanstar had demonstrated that some customers had paid £25, we understood that £25 was the cheapest price available and not the only price they charged, as implied by the ad. We therefore concluded the claim "Just £25" was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.17 (Prices).
The ad must no longer appear. We told Cleanstar to make clear that £25 was the minimum price they charged.