Do you have parents, family, friends, neighbours who are frail, infirm, disabled and depend on Lifeline? “Shepway Lifeline is a Telecare Service Provider that covers the whole of Kent. The service is based at Shepway District Council and has been running for over 30 years” SDC Website.
A picture of the service which SDC advertise in their glossy, twice yearly magazine “Shepway Today” and is overseen by SDC officer, Mark Luetchford Strategic Communications, Campaigns, Community Development and Evaluation Adviser
and his team can be seen below.
What is wrong with this advertisement? Well it could be considered to be ‘misleading by omission‘. What do we mean by that?
Misleading omissions are made when a trader omits or hides material information, provides it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner, or fails to make it clear he has a commercial intent. What is material will depend on the circumstances, but it is generally defined as information the average consumer needs to make an informed decision.
Well, the cost is £3.10 and not £3.00 as SDC say in their advert. Prices rose on the 1st April. Also that there is a £36.00 set up fee, which is omitted from the advert. So this is what we mean when we say ‘misleading by omission’, as the advert does not contain this information.
Prices can be seen here → Lifeline Alarm Services.
As ‘Shepway Today’ went out in early May, surely Mr Luecthford and/or a member of his editorial team would have had time to check. Surely somebody on the team would have had time to confirm the prices before sending it to the printers, but no, so we end up with misleading information at the very least. But is that a new thing from SDC?
So does the advert breach The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 s6? We believe there may well be a case.
If you want to complain, because you honestly believe you are being mislead, then the people to complain to are the Advertising Standards Authority and you can do so by following this link Make a Complaint
Now to possibly mislead the frail, the elderly and any other person who needs this valuable service in such a way, is we believe reprehensible. If SDC are misleading the public with their advertising, what else are they potentially misleading us the residents of Shepway about?
As an aside, a senior source inside the Council informs us that Alistair Stewart CEO, Cllr David Monk, Mark Luetchford (above) & his team, meet every Thursday, to discuss the good and bad publicity they see, hear or read in the Papers, on Facebook, or here at Shepwayvox and elsewhere.
Well, there you have it. Do you think that SDC mislead you the residents of Shepway by omission? And do you think the advert is misleading when the price is wrong and the cost of the setup is omitted? We’ll leave you to decide that.