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hawkins22
Beginner
1,112 Views
Message 1 of 12

Reward card (cashback) amount increased two minutes after I placed my order!

Just before midnight I rushed to place an order for BT Infinity 76Mb broadband, at £44.99/month with a £29.99 upfront charge and a £100 Mastercard reward card cashback offer.

 

The website advertised the £100 reward and said "Hurry! Offer ends midnight on Thursday 23rd February", and had the countdown timer saying "offer ends in 20m 10s" etc.

 

So I rushed through and placed an order before the midnight deadline.

 

Several minutes later, I refresh the page, and what do you know -- the so-called "offer" for the 76Mb plan has not expired, but the reward/cashback amount has increased to £150! Everything else remains the same price for the 76Mb plan.

 

This is pretty sneaky in my opinion. Not a good start when you get tricked by misleading advertising 2 minutes after placing your order.

 

What should I do - should I cancel the order I've placed and then place a second order?

Or should I contact BT and attempt to explain what's happened, and request they credit the extra £50?

 

Thanks

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11 REPLIES 11
pottyperson
Distinguished Guru
Distinguished Guru
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Message 2 of 12

Re: Reward card (cashback) amount increased two minutes after I placed my order!

Welcome to the forum. That would certainly annoy most people but, even if it looks like sharp practice, there's little chance of getting any direct improvement in your order.

 

What if it had been an hour before the deadline? Or a day? Or a week? There has to be a cut-off point, whether the ensuing offer is an improvement or not. You wouldn't expect BT to have awarded you less had you just avoided a change for the worse, would you? Should BT's special offers be withdrawn as soon as it's been decided that the next one will be better but not if it's worse? No chance. Should Sainsbury's point out any of their special offers which are going to be different tomorrow? No chance. Should Ibis Paris have warned me that the online advance room price I first saw the other day was going to go up by 30% during the hour it took me to check the opposition, or told me if it was going to go down? No chance.

 

Across the board, marketing and advertising are driven by obfuscation, alternative facts, and economy of truth. And countdown clocks.

 

You might improve your deal by cancelling the order but, the way BT's systems work, that might give you more than 50 quid's worth of grief. Trying to get anything from the helpline certainly would.

--
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hawkins22
Beginner
1,066 Views
Message 3 of 12

Re: Reward card (cashback) amount increased two minutes after I placed my order!

Thanks for replying.

 

I did cancel the order. If they pull nonsense like this, they deserve to be bled for whatever they're worth.

 

It's probably against some code of the Advertising Standards Authority as well, who I'm going to email.

 

However they try to defend it, it's a very "black hat" practice to have a countdown clock which says "Hurry! Offer ending!" and then it doesn't end. Or rather, it does end, but it improves.

 

I'll be interested to see what happens after the current countdown clock offer expires!

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Webby
Distinguished Sage
1,051 Views
Message 4 of 12

Re: Reward card (cashback) amount increased two minutes after I placed my order!

It's not nonsense. The offer changed.
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john46
Distinguished Sage
1,043 Views
Message 5 of 12

Re: Reward card (cashback) amount increased two minutes after I placed my order!

The ASA will not be interested there was nothing don hat was incorrect would you be complaining if the offer had reduced in value answer is no as you got a better deal every offer made regardless of what for has cut off dates and times
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hawkins22
Beginner
1,035 Views
Message 6 of 12

Re: Reward card (cashback) amount increased two minutes after I placed my order!

But that's the point, isn't it? Pushing someone to purchase by saying "Hurry, offer ends" implies that the price/deal will no longer be available after the deadline. In this case, the deal was available after the deadline, and in fact, it was improved.

 

The people defending this practice don't have a leg to stand on.

 

Here are some references:

 

    What are the rules on claiming that products are in a sale or on special offer?


    Broadly, any price comparisons of this kind must not be misleading. For example:
    • you should not claim that you are selling at an introductory price if you plan to continue selling at that price indefinitely, or to stop selling the product after the introductory period

 

Straight from UK.gov:

 

    Limited time only
    Falsely stating that a product will only be available for a very
    limited time, or that it will only be available on particular
    terms for a very limited time, in order to elicit an immediate
    decision and deprive consumers of sufficient opportunity 
    or time to make an informed choice.

 

Regardless, I stick to my opinion. If companies are going to pull stuff like this, they should expect consumers to bleed them dry in response.

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Webby
Distinguished Sage
1,022 Views
Message 7 of 12

Re: Reward card (cashback) amount increased two minutes after I placed my order!

The deal wasn't available afterwards. A new deal was.

If you bought some beans on offer for 50p a tin, then the next day they were on offer for 45p a tin, you wouldn't expect the shop to refund you the difference.
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john46
Distinguished Sage
1,018 Views
Message 8 of 12

Re: Reward card (cashback) amount increased two minutes after I placed my order!

good luck complaining you will get nowhere do you not think that the legal aspect of an offer is not checked by BT before it is offered
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hawkins22
Beginner
970 Views
Message 9 of 12

Re: Reward card (cashback) amount increased two minutes after I placed my order!

If the beans had a sign which said "Hurry! Offer ends today!" then yes, I'd be peeved.

 

C'mon guys, it's a d*ck move on BT's part however you swing it, and it's pretty much word-for-word against the deceptive advertising regulations which I've quoted above.

 

Maybe nothing will come of it but at least this thread is out there for anyone who may care to read it.

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Tymo76
Contributor
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Message 10 of 12

Re: Reward card (cashback) amount increased two minutes after I placed my order!

"Do BT check the legal aspect of an offer". Err NO! For a long time they advertised BT mobile £5 SIM as "UKs best value sim" when other competitors were offering better deals. BT were told to change the advert. This is one example.

Also you maybe right in that complaining about this particular deal will get you nowhere. But the practice used by BT here is very poor and no wonder Hawkins feels disappointed, if you don't recognise that then there's something not quite right.
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