Pricing and charges
Helpful information on the advertising rules for the pricing of products and services and additional charges, not including legally required costs such as taxes or VAT.
Our rules state that price statements must relate to the product featured in the ad and not a variation of the make or model, and should not mislead by omission, undue emphasis or distortion. We also advise advertisers to refer to the BIS Pricing Practices Guide when preparing their ads.
Another area of complaint we often see is the recommended retail price (RRP) of a product or service. Ordinarily, even if advertisers can provide documentary evidence that the quoted RRP in the ad was recommended by the manufacturer of the product this might not be enough, and any complaints received may get upheld. We require advertisers to be able to demonstrate the product has actually been sold at the advertised price. If an advertiser is the only seller of a product, and so has set the price themselves, it is unlikely to be acceptable to refer to the price as an RRP.
The advertising rules for the pricing of products also state that advertisers shouldn’t use “from” and “up to” claims to exaggerate the availability of a product at a given price. We apply a rule of thumb that 10% of products or services advertised should be available at the “from” or “up to” price stated in the ad, and we have upheld complaints about companies who were unable to sufficiently prove this.
We have also upheld complaints about ads that don’t make additional charges prominent and clear, such as the price of delivery or processing. If a consumer is able to collect the product themselves, delivery charges are not required in the headline price. Any statements that imply delivery is free including those that say “free delivery on orders over £50” or similar, should be avoided if this offer is not attainable for everyone, i.e. additional charges apply to certain postcodes.