The laptop in question was marketed through a TV ad which stated: 'At Comet, we check thousands of prices every week. Save £100 on this wireless laptop now only £299.' The ad featured Comet's UK website address.
The ASA received complaints from potential buyers trying and failing to purchase the laptop at the advertised price.
One unhappy consumer reported trying to make a purchase via the website, but finding the laptop only as part of a higher priced package.
Another could not find the laptop at any of the stores he visited, and challenged the availability of the laptop at the advertised price.
Comet told the ASA that the laptop was available at £299 at all its stores when the ad was first aired, claiming that it had forecast enough stock to last at least two weeks.
However, the retailer went on to say that demand had been greater than anticipated, and that all stock had sold out in a few days.
"Comet explained that the price of £299 was for the laptop only and was exclusive of any extras that would make up a package price," said the ASA ruling.
"They told us that the £299 price was available in-store only and their website address was included in the ad in error because the laptop was only available online as part of a higher-priced package.
"Comet said that they had put procedures in place to ensure that such errors did not happen in future."
In upholding the complaints against the firm, the advertising watchdog accepted that Comet had attempted to assess likely demand for the laptop, and also noted that the inclusion of the Comet website address was a mistake.
"We welcomed Comet's assurance that a system had been put in place to ensure that this type of error was avoided in future," the ASA stated.
"Nevertheless, we were concerned that two consumers had been unable to take advantage of the offer, and that the customer who tried to purchase in-store could not obtain the laptop at the advertised price, despite its availability online as part of a higher-priced package."
The ad was ruled to have breached CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rules 5.2.3 (Qualifications), 5.3.1 (Accurate pricing) and 11.2.2 (Distance selling).
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