Amazon has been ordered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to clarify its delivery charges for individual products, after the body found it was misleading customers.
As reported by The Guardian, the ASA concluded that the etailer was displaying a lack of clarity about items eligble for free UK delivery, after a customer complained about an item that was apparently eligible for it.
While the listing stated that the £18.49 item was eligible for free delivery, the product page stated "free delivery in the UK on orders over £20".
The customer complained that the ads were misleading after being told they had to pay a delivery charge at the checkout, despite adding a second item to his basket which took the order above £20.
On a page titled ‘About free delivery’, Amazon claimed it was impossible to state the actual delivery charge on any given product page because it depended on a range of variables specific to each customer.
Amazon argued that the page made it clear that products dispatched by third parties were not eligible for free delivery, and therefore did not count towards the minimum amount required to make an order eligible for the offer.
The ASA said customers would understand that “eligible for free UK delivery” meant a delivery charge for the product might be waived in some circumstances, and that “free Delivery in the UK on orders over £20” meant that they would not be charged for delivery if the total order was over £20.
It also noted that customers were likely to take the cost of delivery into account when searching various retailers for an item.
The ASA said: “We concluded the ads did not make sufficiently clear which items were eligible for free delivery, and under what terms, and that they were therefore misleading.”
It ordered Amazon to include any additional delivery charge alongside the price of a product if one applied, and to not mislead consumers on the terms under which their order would qualify for free delivery.
An Amazon spokesman said: “We offer a wide range of delivery options and ensure that any charges are clearly visible so our customers can make an informed choice before they decide to make a purchase.”