Virgin Wines Misleading Adverts

Welcome to another edition of "Middle Class Whinging!" The exciting blog where I chronicle disappointing experiences with admired brands.

Virgin Wines loudly and repeatedly promise "next day delivery" on their wine cases. What they don't tell you is that this excludes orders made on Friday. And Saturday. And Sunday too. Basically, they only consider an order valid if it was placed on Monday - Thursday.

I believed their lies and ordered my wine on Friday morning - so it would arrive in time for Cheesemas. It was only after placing my order that I was made aware of Virgin's "creative" interpretation of "next day."

The Evidence

The very first page of their promotion mentions "next day delivery".

No mention of restrictions there. No asterisk and no disclaimer.

A little further on in the purchase process, and I'm again promised "next day delivery".

I'm well before the cut off time - both for regular and gift orders - and I'm reassured that there's only a 4% chance I won't get my lovely wine.

Still, best to check the terms and conditions, eh?

Express! Well! Now I know I'm getting my wine tomorrow!

It was only after I placed my order that I was explicitly told that a Friday order means a Monday delivery.

The Accusation

I've reported this to the UK's Advertising Standards Authority. They appear to agree that this is misleading and they've raised the issue with Virgin.

Am I being unreasonable?

If the adverts had said "next working day delivery", this could have been avoided. The only reason I can see for Virgin's choice of wording is that they intend to mislead their potential customers.

We live in a world of instant delivery - or close to it. If I place an Amazon Prime order on Saturday, it will get delivered on a Sunday. The concept of "working days" is an anachronism which isn't suited to the modern world.

The web is not the same as a printed brochure - it can be updated instantly. It would be easy for Virgin's website to dynamically change depending on the weekday. Once Friday rolls around, the website should let customers know that their tasty wine won't appear until after the weekend.

What's next?

The ASA have asked Virgin Wines to respond by 22nd December. We'll see if they can manage those timescales.

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3 thoughts on “Virgin Wines Misleading Adverts”

  1. Neil says:

    I agree about the lack of clarification in the adverts, but the terms you have pasted here do say "the following working day"?

    1. Terence Eden says:

      Exactly. They say "next day" prominently several times during the sales process. Only if you choose to read the whole T&Cs do you see "Next *working* day". If they were honest, they'd use "working day" in all the advertising copy.


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