The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled in favour of GAME over claims that the retailer had failed to honour its "We Won't Be Beaten on Trade-ins" promotion and match the trade-in prices offered by competitive retailers.
In a report published last month, the ASA said that it had received three complaints from customers who were allegedly refused a trade-in price match by GAME, despite the retailer claiming that it will "beat any offer by £1".
According to the complaints, the customers were refused the promotion "as the trade-in prices offered by competitors were considered too low for GAME to make a sufficient profit." The complainants branded the promotion "misleading" and asked whether it "could be substantiated".
GAME's website states that it "will honour our Trade-In Price Promise to match the trade-in price of other high street competitors. These competitors must be within a 1 mile radius of your GAME store, and the price valid within a 24 hour period. And if you actually find a better deal with another retailer, we'll beat that by £1!"
But after investigating the complaints, the ASA ruled that the three incidents were "isolated events" and that GAME "had demonstrated that on several thousand occasions stores had honoured the WWBB offer, even when it resulted in a very low profit, or a loss for the store".
"Game Retail Ltd t/a as Game.co.uk (Game) were concerned that the complainants were unable to take advantage of their 'We Won't Be Beaten' (WWBB) offer," reads the ASA's report. "They stated, however, that the offer had been running for almost two years, without complaint, and that their records showed a very high number of customers had taken advantage of it. They also provided data which showed that a significant number of their 'WWBB' transactions in May to July 2013 represented cases where the offer had been honoured when stores made little or no profit, or a loss, from the transaction."
It continued: "The ASA noted that the three complainants had given accounts of being refused the WWBB offer, some in multiple Game stores, on the grounds that the stores would not make a sufficient profit from the transaction to make it viable. We noted from the evidence provided, however, that Game had demonstrated that on several thousand occasions stores had honoured the WWBB offer, even when it resulted in a very low profit, or a loss for the store.
"We therefore considered that the refusals to honour the offer that the complainants had encountered were likely to have been isolated events which were not representative of Game's commitment to, and application of, the offer more widely. Because Game had provided evidence which showed a number of cases where Game had honoured the offer even when they made little or no profit, or made a loss, we considered the claim was not misleading and was not in breach of the Code."
In response to the complaints, GAME told the ASA that it had "communicated to all stores the importance of following their brand promises to Game customers".
"They said that message had been reinforced in verbal communication to all regional managers, and via a written statement to all stores stressing the importance of honouring the offer."
GAME announced last week that it had partnered with EA Sports for the launch of FIFA 14, opening a range of stores for the game's midnight launch later this month and hosting early hands-on events in 50 of its stores.
It will also be offering a further trade-in promotion for the launch of next-gen consoles, guaranteeing a minimum £40 credit on select titles when upgrading to the PS4 or Xbox One versions.
Have you ever been refused a trade-in price match at GAME? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: asa.org.uk (via hotukdeals.com)