Online shop prices must be accurate: ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) Directorate has ordered online retailer Purple Fly Trading to withdraw the listing for a Lenovo IdeaPad notebook after it ruled that it constituted a misleading advertisement.

A consumer complained to the ASA that the Purple Fly listing was misleading after he received an invoice showing a price R486.48 greater than listed on the retailer’s website.

Purple Fly Trading listed the Lenovo IdeaPad V570 with 640GB hard drive for R6,404.52, but ended up sending the an invoice of R6,891, the ASA said.

The ASA said that in response to the complaint, Purple Fly pointed out that it didn’t receive any money from the complainant, but was just providing a quotation based on the current price from a supplier that had stock.

Purple Fly explained that it has many suppliers of the same product with different prices and that prices sometimes change daily due to many factors including rate of exchange, the ASA said.

In its ruling on the matter the ASA said that the listing “clearly creates an impression that this is the amount payable for this product”.

The ASA further noted that Purple Fly Trading relied on its pricing terms and conditions that are available elsewhere on the website, under the “Shipping & Returns” link to inform users that prices might change without prior notice.

However, such terms and conditions cannot be used to correct a misleading impression initially created, the ASA ruled.

At the time of writing the Purple Fly Trading website listed the notebook for R6,877.95.

Purple Fly Trading - Lenovo IdeaPad V570 640GB
Purple Fly Trading – Lenovo IdeaPad V570 640GB

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Online shop prices must be accurate: ASA