ASA Adjudication on Everything Everywhere Ltd
Everything Everywhere Ltd t/a
Hatfield Business Park
4 July 2012
Internet (on own site)
Computers and telecommunications
Number of complaints:
A website for Orange mobile phones, www.orange.co.uk, listed phones available for upgrade for existing customers. The ad stated "iPhone 4S 16GB Black ... upgrade price: from FREE".
The complainant, who understood they would have to change to a much higher price plan to receive the handset for free, challenged whether the claim "from FREE" was misleading.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Everything Everywhere Ltd t/a Orange (Orange) did not believe the claim was misleading. They said the web page viewed by the complainant showed they were logged into their account and were eligible for an upgrade as they were outside of their minimum contract term. They said the upgrade section of their website presented customers with a range of handset options, of which the iPhone 4S 16GB Black was one. They said the phone was described as "upgrade price: from FREE" because the price of the handset varied from free to £309, depending on the price plan selected. They said the handset was free when purchased on a £46 (24 month), £51 (24 month) or £61 (18 month) plan. They said once the handset was selected customers were asked to choose an iPhone plan from a list that included the monthly cost, minimum term and inclusive features such as calls, texts and data. They said that once the price plan has been selected the customer would be taken to their 'basket' where the cost of the plan and the cost of the iPhone when taken on that tariff would be shown. They said the customer then had the option to complete the purchase or to select a different phone or price plan. They also said that, in the context of an upgrade, they believed it was clear the customer was required to enter into a new price plan which had a new minimum contract, and that this was stated expressly.
We noted the complainant believed the claim that the upgrade price of the phone was "from FREE" was misleading, as they were only able to receive the handset at no cost by changing to a much higher price plan than previously. However, we considered most consumers would be aware that when purchasing or upgrading a mobile phone contract you may need to pay an additional charge for some phones, depending on the price plan selected. We considered that consumers would interpret the claim "from FREE" to mean they would not have to pay an additional charge for the phone on some of the price plans, and noted this was the case, as there was no additional charge for the phone on three price plans. We did not consider the claim implied the phone would necessarily be available at no extra cost on the customer's previous tariff. We also noted that consumers would be notified of the cost of the handset once they had selected a price plan. We therefore concluded the claim was not misleading.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.17 (Prices) and 3.23 (Free) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.