Hosting biz GoDaddy has been slammed by a Brit advertising regulator for "misleading" punters with the lure of cheap deals.
The first complaint was made regarding the outfit's advertised £2.99 per month "basic" hosting package. The monthly price was thought to be misleading by complainant Ashley Rumbold because it had to be paid as an upfront annual sum.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) also received a second complaint to do with GoDaddy's 1p fee for domain names, which was thought to be misleading because it was available for one year only and then reverted to a higher rate for additional years, with customers having to sign up for a minimum of two years.
Naturally, GoDaddy denied it had misled anyone: it said customers could configure their order in the cart to select the annual service term that would equate to that monthly price, and said sufficient information was provided to consumers about the pricing breakdown of the domain names.
After mulling it over, the ASA concluded consumers would understand the claim “As low as £2.99/mo”, to mean that the “Basic” product was available at £2.99 per month, and could be paid on a monthly basis.
On the second point, it considered the fee was not misleading to consumers because the text accompanying the headline price statement made clear it had to be purchased for two years or more in order to achieve the stated price of £0.01 for the first year.
"However, because we understood the same conditions applied to the prices stated for other similar domain names, but that was not made clear, we concluded those price claims were misleading. We therefore concluded the ad was misleading."
It ruled the the advert must not appear again in its current form: "We told GoDaddy Operating Company LLC to ensure that in future it made clear that the total cost for the chosen duration of WordPress hosting services must be paid upfront, rather than on a monthly basis."
The ASA also said the hosting outfit must clarify other conditions associated with its price claims, and make it obvious that the two stated prices relate to the costs for the first year and additional years. ®