I bought a television from Amazon through its one-day Prime Day promotion – the full description was a Sony Bravia KDL32WD603 32-inch Full HD Smart TV with Freeview, HDD Rec and USB Playback.
The Full HD/1080p description appears more than once on the Amazon page. But after the transaction had gone through, I saw a couple of reviews noting that it wasn’t actually Full HD, but HD Ready – 720p rather than 1080p.
I contacted Amazon customer services, which reassured me the reviews were mistaken, so I agreed to accept delivery. When the TV arrived, lo and behold, it was 720p.
When I contacted Amazon, it offered a return and promised to take the item off its website pending an investigation, but told me it wouldn’t refund me until the item had been collected by courier and checked. When the courier did pick up the TV (after two missed collections) there was a delay in payment, which Amazon blamed on slow bank turnaround, and I was offered £50 of vouchers as a goodwill gesture.
But the TV is still on sale with the incorrect details and it is clear from recent reviews that other customers are being affected by this. Amazon promised to remove the listing and investigate, but four or five days later, it still has not done so. JU, London
The Prime Day price was £239, down from £299 – a good deal for a 1080p set but about £40 too expensive for a 720p one. These days you’d need the equivalent of a PhD in rocket science to understand the jargon and descriptions of high-definition television (HDTV), which provides a much higher image resolution and quality than standard definition television. When you see something advertised as Full HD or 1080p, it is standard in the industry that this means 1920 x 1080 pixels. On the Amazon listing for this TV, that was in the product title and the description. Because the listing groups different-sized sets in the same model group, what seems to have happened is that Amazon took the information for one of the larger models and applied it to the 32-inch version.
We were puzzled at Amazon’s tardiness in coming back to you. When we checked initially, the item was still inaccurately listed, although it has since – following our intervention – been corrected. The company lists millions of products for sale, which it does in conjunction with product manufacturers, but that’s no excuse not to correct them when they are clearly wrong.
The Advertising Standards Authority’s code states that “marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so” and would take your complaint very seriously – and indeed encourage consumers with similar gripes to write in.
Amazon said in a statement: “We aim to provide the very latest information as well as every day great value on the tens of millions of products available at Amazon.co.uk.” But that doesn’t really answer the query – “aiming” to provide is not actually providing.
Separately, Amazon was ordered earlier this week to clarify its delivery charges for individual products after the advertising watchdog found it had been misleading customers. The ASA found a lack of clarity about items eligible for free delivery after a shopper complained about delivery charges for an AmazonBasics electrical product.
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