Black Friday deals which sell out are not a scam – ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa has ruled on a complaint regarding Black Friday advertising.

The complaint was submitted by a shopper against Brands Online, after the company advertised a Black Friday sale on 23 and 24 November 2017.

The advert stated it was selling men’s and women’s Nike shoes for R99 over the two days.

When the shopper accessed the company’s website, none of the shoes she attempted to purchase could be added to her cart, she said.

“She alleged that the advertising is a scam as there are a number of people also complaining,” stated the ASA.

No shopping profile

Brands Online is not a member of the ASA and is not obliged to respond to the complaint, but decided to address the merits of the case.

It stated that its Black Friday deals were advertised from 20 November, and that the products advertised were available on 23 and 24 November.

The company said it was clear from the complaint that the complainant attempted to purchase the shoes before 23 and 24 November, and the system would not generate the sale.

It added that a user profile on the company’s website had to be created to purchase products, and “the complainant does not appear to be registered”.

Limited stock was also available during the sale, and the complainant confirmed she tried to purchase shoes on 24 November at 08:00 – a day after the sale began.

“With online sales, and particularly sales such as those seen on Black Friday, there will always be disappointed consumers who do not get the advertised special,” said the ASA.

“The only question before the ASA is whether the R99 special was genuine and whether consumers were able to get the advertised offer.”

The ASA found that the sale was genuine, and Brands Online provided invoices as proof it had sold name brand shoes for R99 on the Thursday and Friday.

“It would therefore appear that the special was indeed available. The complaint is accordingly dismissed,” said the ASA.

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Black Friday deals which sell out are not a scam – ASA