%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%An Aldi advert challenging viewers to "swap and save" on their regular supermarket has been banned after rival Asda complained that it would mislead consumers.
The television ad featured a woman, who had taken up the challenge and shopped at her usual supermarket for four weeks and then at Aldi for four weeks, saying: "...it's cheap and it's good.
"I think £45 a week is a lot of money given that we've got to spread it so thinly amongst so many things. So it's definitely worth doing for us. Meaning that we can go on an extra holiday a year."
Text at the bottom of the screen said 88 out of 100 people saved money between April 1 and May 26 last year.
But Asda said the ad was misleading because the selected elements of the comparison could give Aldi an unrepresentative advantage, the basis of the comparison and savings claims was unclear, the type of products could not be verified and the time of the comparison was out of date and invalid for a price sensitive market.
Asda also complained that the "extra holiday" claim implied that savings achieved in one month would produce similar savings in the future, when this could not be substantiated on the basis of the swap and save comparison.
Aldi said the aim of the campaign was to demonstrate that families could meet their shopping needs and achieve worthwhile savings by swapping from their regular supermarket to itself.
Aldi said Asda had mistakenly interpreted the campaign as a price comparison, but pointed out that the ad asked if consumers could "swap and save" rather than making a specific claim.
Aldi said the £45 figure had clearly not been arrived at by individual product price comparisons, and the basis of the comparison of cost was by reference to the woman's overall weekly spend at the two stores.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) noted that swap and save participants had been told to conduct their weekly shop as usual, but said a number of items were excluded from the total savings which could have given Aldi an unrepresentative advantage.
It also noted that the data was several months old by the time the ad aired.
The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form, saying: "We told Aldi to ensure that the basis for comparisons were made clear in their future ads and that they should be able to provide substantiation for any savings claims made on the basis of these comparisons.
"We also told them that, in order to make the comparison verifiable, they should amend the ad to include either a postal address to which viewers could write for full details of the comparison, including which products were included and at what prices, or a web address that linked directly to a page about the campaign that included such details or a postal address."
10 consumer rights you should know
Aldi 'swap and save' advert banned
The law states that any goods you buy from a UK retailer should be of satisfactory quality, as described, fit for purpose and last a reasonable amount of time.
This applies even if you buy items in a sale or with a discount voucher. You may have to insist on these rights being respected, though.
Useful phrases to use when you want to show you mean business include, "according to the Sale of Goods Act 1979" and, if it's a service, "according to the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982".
Some shops will allow you to exchange goods without a receipt, but they can refuse to should they wish.
If the goods are faulty, however, another proof of purchase such as a bank statement should work just as well.
If you attempt to return goods within four weeks of the purchase, your chances of getting a full refund are much higher as you can argue that you have not "accepted" them.
After this point, you can only really expect an exchange, repair or part-refund.
The updated Consumer Credit Act states that card companies are jointly and severally liable for credit card purchases of between £100 and £60,260 (whether or not you paid just a deposit or the whole amount on your card).
Anyone spending between these amounts on their credit card is therefore protected if the retailer or service provider goes bust, their online shopping never arrives or the items in question are faulty or not as described.
Start by writing to the agency asking it to either remove or change the entry that you think is wrong. It will investigate the matter and find out whether you have been the victim of ID theft or a bank's mistake.
Within 28 days from receipt of your letter the agency should tell you how the bank has responded. If the bank agrees to change the entry, they will authorise the agency to update their records. They should also send updates to any other credit reference agencies they use.
You can also contact your lender directly to query a mistake. If the lender agrees to the discrepancy, ask them to confirm this in writing on their letterhead and send a copy to the agency, asking them to update your file.
The FOS settles disputes between financial companies such as banks and consumers.
If a financial organisation rejects a complaint you make about its services, you can therefore escalate that complaint to the FOS - as long as you have given the company in question at least eight weeks to respond.
The FOS will then investigate the case, and could force the company to offer you compensation should it see fit.
Bailiffs are allowed to take some of your belongings to sell on to cover certain debts, including unpaid Council Tax and parking fines.
They can, for example, take so-called luxury items such as TVs or games consoles. However, they cannot take essentials such as fridges or clothes.
What's more, they can only generally enter your home to take your stuff if you leave a door or window open or invite them in.
You are therefore within your rights to refuse them access and to ask for related documents such as proof of their identity. If they try to force their way in, you can also call the police to stop them.
Private sector debt collectors do not have the same powers as bailiffs, whatever they tell you.
They cannot, for example, enter your home and take your possessions in lieu of payment.
In fact, they can only write, phone, or visit your home to talk to you about paying back the debt. As with bailiffs, you can also call the police if you feel physically threatened.
Thanks to the Distance Selling Regulations, you actually have more rights buying online or by phone than on the High Street.
You can, for example, send most goods back within a week, for a full refund (including outward delivery costs), even if there's no fault.
You will usually need to pay for the return delivery, though. The seller must then refund you within 30 days.
We enter into contracts all the time, whether it be to join a gym, switch energy supplier or take out a loan.
In most cases, once you've signed a contract, you are legally bound by it. In some situations, however, you have the right to cancel it within a certain timeframe.
Credit agreements, for example, can be cancelled within 14 days. And online retailers must tell you about your cancellation rights for any contract made up to stand up legally.