AO / Mail Online misleading offer query

edited 28 September 2020 at 11:32AM in Consumer Rights
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BadDayFishingBadDayFishing Forumite
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edited 28 September 2020 at 11:32AM in Consumer Rights
Hello,
I recently needed to make a (relatively) large purchase. AO.com was the cheapest supplier. The total was £454. I checked for discount codes, and found that Mail Online were offering £40 M&S vouchers for any purchase from AO.com over £450. Happy days! Here is the offer:



I duly followed the process specified. The confirmation email received, telling me that my order would be subject to a verification process, had this in the 'small print':
'*To determine eligibility as it pertains to the minimum spend, the total price before VAT is used (only applicable to rewards with a minimum spend threshold)'
In order to meet this requirement, an order would need to be in excess of £540.00.
My query is - Given that this was an entirely 'retail' purchase, where the assumption is that VAT is already applied to any figures published, is this acceptable?
I am feeling extremely aggrieved and conned by this tricksy and cynical behaviour.
Thank you for reading.

Replies

  • Aylesbury_DuckAylesbury_Duck Forumite
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    The Mail Online....what could possibly go wrong.

    It is cynical, but what do you expect from anything the Mail is involved with?   As I understand it, AO haven't done anything wrong because their price presumably was inclusive of VAT.  It was the offer from the Mail that was dodgy and that's not a retail transaction.  I suspect that if it's their promotional offer and the terms and conditions were freely available before you redeemed (on that 'Terms and conditions' tab) then the onus is on you to read those terms before using the offer.  Worth complaining to the Mail that their offer is misleading, but I doubt you'll get anywhere with it.

    Just cancel the order and buy elsewhere.
  • No I don't think it is, you might want to double check first with AO that clause applies to the Mail offer and if they say it does then complain to the ASA (and AO). 
  • JReacher1JReacher1 Forumite
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    the T’s and C’s do specify this. I accept its frustrating but you’re no worse off as you were buying this anyway. 
  • BadDayFishingBadDayFishing Forumite
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    The Mail Online....what could possibly go wrong.

    It is cynical, but what do you expect from anything the Mail is involved with?   As I understand it, AO haven't done anything wrong because their price presumably was inclusive of VAT.  It was the offer from the Mail that was dodgy and that's not a retail transaction.  I suspect that if it's their promotional offer and the terms and conditions were freely available before you redeemed (on that 'Terms and conditions' tab) then the onus is on you to read those terms before using the offer.  Worth complaining to the Mail that their offer is misleading, but I doubt you'll get anywhere with it.

    Just cancel the order and buy elsewhere.
    Hi,
    Thanks for the reply. Yes - the clause is on the Ts and Cs tab. Yes the onus is on me. I very much considered cancelling (although, oddly, within seconds of completing the transaction AO.com sent an SMS saying that the order can't be cancelled!)
    However, in true MSE style, I didn't let my heart rule my wallet - AO.com were the cheapest anyway. I didn't change my purchasing decision as a result of the offer.
    I also doubt I'd get anywhere with it.
    And, I very much wrestled with having anything to do with the DM - But, Christmas is coming, and £40 for free seemed like a worthwhile offer.
  • BadDayFishingBadDayFishing Forumite
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    JReacher1 said:
    the T’s and C’s do specify this. I accept its frustrating but you’re no worse off as you were buying this anyway. 
    Agreed - I'm !!!!!! off, but no worse off!
  • The Mail Online....what could possibly go wrong.

    It is cynical, but what do you expect from anything the Mail is involved with?   As I understand it, AO haven't done anything wrong because their price presumably was inclusive of VAT.  It was the offer from the Mail that was dodgy and that's not a retail transaction.  I suspect that if it's their promotional offer and the terms and conditions were freely available before you redeemed (on that 'Terms and conditions' tab) then the onus is on you to read those terms before using the offer.  Worth complaining to the Mail that their offer is misleading, but I doubt you'll get anywhere with it.

    Just cancel the order and buy elsewhere.
    Although its not a retailer transaction the OP would still likely be classed as a consumer. General terms on the Mail state governed by English law. 
  • Doc_NDoc_N Forumite
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    Never, ever, trust the Daily Mail or anything connected with it - for news, offers, or anything at all.  A golden rule of life.
  • BadDayFishingBadDayFishing Forumite
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    Doc_N said:
    Never, ever, trust the Daily Mail or anything connected with it - for news, offers, or anything at all.  A golden rule of life.
    Yes. I went off-piste. I'm generally very risk averse. My contempt for the DM is palpable. I don't know what I was thinking. I now consider this a valuable life lesson!
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