PC World has come under fire from customers who claim that the firm's TV advert for cut-price laptops for £399 were bogus, as the products were not available at the discount price.
Two viewers, who had been unable to find the product for less than £499 the day after the ad was aired on 5 December, challenged the availability of the computer at £399.
The complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following a PC World ad offering a Compaq C300EA for £399.
In these broadcasts, the price of £499 was crossed out at the bottom of the screen and the accompanying text stated: '£399 save £100'.
PC World explained in response to the accusations that the ad was scheduled to run from 29 November until 4 December 2006. However, because of a broadcaster error, the ad was also aired on 5 December.
The company said that it sold 12,123 Compaq C300EA laptops nationally between 30 November and 4 December.
PC World sent a sales report which showed that it had also sold 1,220 Compaq C300EA laptops on 5 December at £399, even though the promotion was due to end on 4 December.
In rejecting the complaints, the ASA noted that PC World had based its prediction of demand on a previous similar promotion that occurred on a Bank Holiday.
Although the demand exceeded its predictions, the watchdog agreed that PC World had supplied over twice the demand it had predicted.
"We acknowledged that two viewers were disappointed that they could not buy the advertised Compaq C300EA laptop at the Braehead Glasgow and Wakefield stores and were possibly misinformed about the availability and price of the laptop in those stores," the ASA stated.
"We also noted that those viewers tried to purchase the laptop on 5 December and the promotion was scheduled to end on 4 December but because of broadcaster error, the ad was mistakenly aired on 5 December without PC World's knowledge.
"Nevertheless, we considered that PC World had supplied the product in reasonable quantities at the promotional price throughout the promotional period and, when the ad was originally broadcast, PC World had every reason to expect they would easily be able to satisfy demand. We concluded that the ad was not misleading."
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