The advertising watchdog has upheld complaints against two claims management companies for sending misleading messages about how much clients could expect to receive.
The Advertising Standards Authority said BCB Solutions (trading as myclaimsexpert.co.uk) and Claim4you Ltd (trading as Free PPI Check), both handling PPI claims, were wrong in the figures stated on their respective adverts.
Claims4you Ltd, based in Liverpool, had posted on Facebook and Twitter that named clients had secured specific amounts in refunds from banks.
Lloyds Banking Group challenged whether the claims about the amounts received were misleading and could be substantiated.
The company said both amounts were indeed offered by the banks, and provided copies of letters to the featured customers which confirmed the figures.
But the ASA said customers would expect the amounts quoted to be the amount received by each client.
Both refunds were subject to tax on these amounts, and a further levy of a 25% to the company: neither deduction was made clear in the adverts.
‘While we acknowledged that the amounts quoted were the total amounts refunded to the customers by the banks, it was not the amount eventually received by the customers,’ said the ASA.
The authority upheld complaints for misleading advertising and exaggeration and ruled the adverts must not appear again in their current form.
In a separate ruling, the ASA found BCB Solutions, based in Hertfordshire, had not been able to substantiate its website claim that ‘our average claim is well over £2,000’.
Again, Lloyds Banking Group challenged whether the claim was misleading.
BCB Solutions said data showed that of the 1,637 settlements in the past year, the total settlement was £3,328,923 – making an average settlement of £2,033. The company was, it said, audited by its regulator which had confirmed the claim was accurate.
But the ASA said the company had not clarified whether the data was based on all claims handled over a year, or just the ones which resulted in a settlement.
‘We considered that this was significant information because any unsuccessful claims that were not included would consequently, influence the average settlement quoted in the ad,’ said the ASA.
The claim breached rules on misleading advertising and substantiation and must not be repeated. Any future claims must include failed cases in average settlement figures.