Advertising standards authority rules

Online furniture retailer Factory Gate Ltd, trading as Design Tables, has been told that its delivery advertising claims have been found misleading after receiving a complaint.

Delivery details stated on the company’s website,, back in June 2016, highlighted that items in stock would be ‘delivered in 5-7 working days’, whereas out of stock products would be around ‘8-10 weeks’. It also states that the company would contact a customer ‘prior to dispatch’ of goods for delivery date confirmation.

However, a complainant challenged the delivery claims to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) indicating that they were ‘only informed of when the items would be delivered on the day itself, approximately four months later’, and said that the claims were misleading.

Responding to the complaint, Design Tables explained that two of the three products ordered were out of stock and they couldn’t guarantee delivery times due to factors ‘out of their control’, as well as stating that communications with customers relating to orders are via an online courier system and they ‘did not have sight of those emails’ but confirmed the courier company ‘confirmed delivery directly with the client’.

Although acknowledging that the product listing included general information regarding the likely timescales of delivery, the ASA said ‘that they had not provided any evidence to confirm that their claimed typical delivery times for in stock and out of stock items were accurate’.

Adding that ‘in the absence of that evidence, and given how we considered consumers were likely to interpret the claims, we concluded that the ad was misleading’.

A statement from the ASA ruled: “We told Design Tables to ensure that their claims regarding the communications that consumers should expect to receive once they had placed an order and claims regarding their typical delivery timescales were accurate.”

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