/ Shopping

ASA axes Asda ads – we approve

Woman holding shopping bags

Q: When does Which? disapprove of retailers offering consumers quality guarantees? A: When the ‘guarantee’ is worse than the rights consumers have anyway!

We welcomed last week’s ruling by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) to ban an Asda promotion that offered to let you return clothes in their ‘George’ range for up to 100 days.

The thing is, consumer rights legislation already lets you return goods for up to six years after a purchase, and for the first six months the onus is on the retailer to prove the product wasn’t faulty.

The only limitation is that consumers must have a ‘reasonable expectation’ that a product would have lasted that long. But the ASA made clear that value clothes ranges should be expected to last well beyond 100 days, making Asda’s claims a bit ridiculous.

Stop misleading customers

‘It’s great to see that Asda has been knocked on the knuckles as this advert is a great example of how consumers could be misled into thinking they have fewer rights than they do,’ says Which? shopping expert Sarah Dennis.

‘Your rights as consumers on the shop floor and beyond are often confused and while it’s great when consumers are educated in how to protect themselves, shops should ultimately be responsible for making your real entitlement crystal clear.’

Clear the consumer rights confusion

Have you been stung by (or narrowly avoided) a retailer claiming to give you a great deal, when in fact they’re just doing what they have to? If so, check out the Which? advice about your rights.

If you’ve got an iPhone we’ve just launched our new Your Rights app, which puts the info in the palm of your hand. So next time you’re in a shop and they claim to be giving you a great deal, you can whip out your phone and check just how good it is.


I'm moving next week and recently bought a bed. We went to Dreams, who told us everything came with a 10 year guarantee. What they omitted to tell you was that the guarantee cost you £60 for a bed & mattress.

When I queried this, saying I shouldn't need it as I was surely covered under my usual consumer rights (couldn't remember the name of Sale of Goods Act at the time), the store manager informed me that as the manufacturer's guarantee is only 1 year, without the extra guarantee, we'd only be covered for 1 year. The manufacturer (apparenly) only covers products for how long they expect them to last.

Of course I refused to pay the money. And if they think they can get away with only covering faulty goods for 1 year on a £800 bed & mattress (and that's the sale price), they have another think coming!

Once we have it delivered, I shall be sending a stiffly worded letter to their customer service department about misleading sales tactics.

joby says:
23 July 2010

I purchased a washer dryer from a well known high street retailer that went u/s prior to the 30 day limit post delivery. Stupidly, I got a replacement that then went u/s after around 32 days after delivery. I was told by the retailer that I had to accept a repair on the washer dryer because this was their policy. I did get some advice from the Which! legal team who told me that the high street retailer was within their rights to do this but I argued that it was a faulty good regardless and I was entitled to my money. I was then told by the legal team that I was at the mercy of the retailer if they would then choose to return my money and collect the dryer. I was told by the retailer that I was not covered by the SGA as their own policy superceeded this which I told them was tosh. Anyway, I stuck to my guns and the next day they agreed to return my money which I have had refunded since. Always go by the SGA 1979 etc.