ASA Adjudication on Rackspace Ltd
5 Millington Road
Hyde Park Hayes
10 October 2012
Internet (search engine)
Number of complaints:
A sponsored search ad for a web hosting company stated "The World Leader in Cloud Computing & Hosting. 100% Uptime Guarantee!".
The complainant challenged whether the ad was misleading, because they did not believe it was possible to provide 100% uptime for that kind of service.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Rackspace Ltd said consumers would understand the claim to mean that they offered a guarantee, which could be relied upon if they signed up for the service and did not experience 100% uptime. They said their clients were businesses that understood no service provider could ensure 100% uptime, due to scheduled maintenance and, occasionally, for other reasons, and that they understood the concept of guarantees in Service Level Agreements (SLAs). They said it was standard practice in the industry to offer a "100% uptime" or "zero downtime" guarantee and they provided examples. They pointed to the relevant sections of their SLA which stated that, if they failed to ensure 100% uptime, clients would be entitled to credit on their monthly subscription fees up to 100% of their monthly fee, depending on the length of the downtime. Because of those provisions, they believed it was true to say that they offered a 100% uptime guarantee.
The ASA considered that consumers would understand that the claim "100% Uptime Guarantee!" meant that they would be compensated if the Rackspace Cloud network was unavailable, not that the network would definitely be available 100% of the time. The SLA for Cloud services, available on the website linked to by the ad, stated that clients would receive credit for time that the network was unavailable and we therefore concluded that the claim "100% Uptime Guarantee!" was not misleading.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.9 (Qualification) and 3.11 (Exaggeration), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.