Takealot escaped the wrath of the advertising watchdog after it was found customers were not misled with the ‘next day delivery’ claim as various terms and conditions, like time of order, location, and stock availability, should be considered.

News24 notes the complainant reported he placed an order on Takealot for an RC Stunt Car 4x4 on 31 August, expecting to receive it the next day on 1 September, as indicated by the ‘next day delivery’ badge alongside the advert.

However, the customer was disappointed and felt misled when it did not arrive on the expected date but instead was promised it would be delivered on 2 September.

Since Takealot is not a member of the Advertising Regulatory Body (ARB), it emphasised its response should not be interpreted as submission to the ad watchdog's authority.

The e-commerce company referred the ARB to its Customer Help Centre, saying the ‘next day delivery’ badge in its advert was an indication of the product's eligibility for next-day delivery.

This, however, is subject to certain conditions, such as the customer's geographical location and stock availability in the distribution area.

The ad regulator acknowledged the issue here was whether the advertised ‘next day delivery’ disclaimer created a misleading expectation of next-day delivery.

When viewed alone, the ‘next day delivery’ icon is somewhat ambiguous, as next day suggests delivery the day after an order or tomorrow.

‘Depending on each customer's individual circumstances, the knowledge that this product could be delivered the following day may well influence the decision to purchase, and customers may choose a 'next day delivery' product over one that does not make this promise,’ said the ARB.

However, the advertiser's terms and conditions on its website clarified the icon did not guarantee next-day delivery but indicated eligibility, subject to certain conditions, including stock availability and logistics involved.

Upon further investigation, notes News24, the ARB found the complainant had placed the order outside of regular business hours, and it was reasonable to assume a person in this situation could not possibly expect the item to be delivered the following day.

‘This falls outside what would reasonably be regarded as ordinary business hours, and the directorate is of the view that a person placing an order this close to the next day, hoping for delivery the next day, would scrutinise the terms of the order and delivery more closely than someone who does not require urgent delivery,’ it said.

Therefore, the ARB concluded a reasonable customer would understand the limitations of next-day delivery and ruled the claim in the advert was not misleading.

Full News24 report