The Freedom Travel Group has become the latest travel agency to fall foul of advertising regulations, having been found guilty of advertising a holiday on Teletext at a price that was no longer available.
The Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint from a customer who tried to book the package, but was quoted a price more than 70% higher.
The Freedom Travel Group, trading as FlightandHotel.co.uk said its packages were based on low-cost airlines, which changed their prices throughout the day subject to sales and search levels.
It said the customer tried to book the seven-night package to the Canary Islands five minutes after the price had been increased from £361pp to £628pp, but before the updated price was showing on teletext.co.uk.
It explained that the price increase would have been reflected in the next live update to the Teletext live XML feed, which would have been within two hours of the price rise, which it thought was reasonable.
However, the ASA noted that the ad omitted to state that the price was "from", therefore customers would have expected the holiday to be available at the advertised price.
"We also noted that the ad did not explain that the advertised fare was extremely limited or could be withdrawn at any time, in order to make clear to consumers their prospects of being able to take up the offer," it said.
"We concluded that because the ad did not make clear that the advertised fare was extremely limited or could be withdrawn at any time, and because the evidence provided showed that the advertised price was not available at the time the complainant saw the ad, the price claim had not been substantiated and the ad was therefore misleading."
Freedom has been ordered not to repeat the ad and to make it clear in future where offers are extremely limited or that they can be withdrawn at any time.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
From spectacular art and interior design, to outstanding culinary and sustainable innovation, the Conrad New York is Lower Manhattan's newest luxury address.