Conservatory Outlet's Customer Testimonials found to be false

Business review: 

Conservatory Outlet Ltd The Cutting Room, Thorns Lane Wharf, Wakefield, West Yorkshire. WF1 5RL. http://www.conservatoryoutlet.co.uk/

The Advertising Standards Authority ruling on a complaint against Conservatory Outlet & their dealers:-

http://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudications/2013/3/Conservatory-Outlet-L...

ASA Adjudication on Conservatory Outlet Ltd

Conservatory Outlet Ltd

The Cutting Room
Thorns Lane Wharf
Wakefield
West Yorkshire
WF1 5RL

Date:

20 March 2013

Media:

Internet (on own site)

Sector:

Household

Number of complaints:

1

Complaint Ref:

A12-214975

Ad

Three websites for individual companies associated with the brand Conservatory Outlet, www.conservatoryoutlet.co.uk, featured several testimonials. A testimonial on website (a), www.clearviewhome.co.uk stated, "... our beautiful conservatory and new front door entrance ... We would like to thank everyone at the Clearview from the first visit to your showroom to the completion of our beautiful conservatory and new front door entrance ... from a very satisfied customer. Mr & Mrs Archer, Blackburn". This testimonial was repeated on website (b) for Kendal Trade Frames Ltd t/a Planet South Lakes Ltd, www.planetsouthlakes.com. The testimonial was identical except for the customer name, Mr & Mrs Cobley, Morecambe.

A second testimonial on website (c), www.housemasterhome.com stated "My orangery is now finished and I have to say I have enjoyed the experience of the whole programme of work ... Mr & Mrs French, St Albans, Hertfordshire". A similar testimonial appeared on website (a) with the customer name of Mr & Mrs Cook, Liverpool, with the word "conservatory" instead of "orangery".

Issue

The complainant challenged whether the testimonials were genuine.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

3.13.453.483.7

Response

Conservatory Outlet Ltd said in order to prove a testimonial was genuine they would have to search hundreds of written testimonials from their outlets. They said they have removed those in question and would replace them with more recent testimonials obtained from their new online customer review centre. They said reviews and testimonials were stored online along with details of customers who submitted them.

Assessment

Upheld

The ASA noted the advertiser's willingness to remove the testimonials subject to the investigation. We noted that subsequent revisions had removed repeated versions of the testimonials, however, two original testimonials continued to appear. We asked the advertiser to provide evidence that the testimonials were genuine; this was not submitted. Because we did not see documentary evidence that the testimonials were genuine or consumers who submitted them had given their permission for them to be used, we concluded the ad was misleading.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 3.45 and 3.48 (Endorsements and testimonials).

Action

The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told the Conservatory Outlet to ensure all testimonials used in their advertising complied with the CAP Code.


Conservatory Outlet has been misleading in their advertising again.

The Advertising Standards Authority wrote basic information relating to this complaint about the Conservatory Outlet’s misleading advertising.

The ruling appeared on the ASA’s website on Wednesday 17 July 2013.


Can anyone trust the customer testimonials of the Conservatory Outlet & their dealers?

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There are 2 Comments

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