Essay-writing service grade guarantee advert banned
Wednesday 08 May 2013
An ad for an essay writing service has been banned for appearing to offer a moneyback guarantee that customers would receive at least the grade they ordered.
Oxbridgeessays.com included the claim: "Definite Grade...We guarantee that you will receive at least the grade you order (1st Class, 2:1, 2:2). If not, we'll give you your money back!"
However another web page headed terms and conditions said clients agreed that the guarantee "in no way represents any guarantee... that were the same written material to be submitted to the client's university or school then the client would receive that degree mark".
One person complained that the guarantee the customers would receive at least the grade they ordered was misleading.
Defending the ad, the Oxbridge Research Group Ltd said the claim related to the standard of work of the essay writing service they provided and not to the grade a customer would receive from their university or college if they submitted a sample essay as their own work.
It also pointed out that its terms and conditions prohibited submitting the essay as a customer's own work.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said: "Although the terms and conditions of the website prohibited it, we considered the claim in question implied that if you submitted a sample essay for marking and did not receive the grade you ordered, you could get your money back.
"We therefore considered that the terms and conditions contradicted, rather than clarified, the claim.
"We also considered it was misleading to imply the grade ordered was guaranteed because, although the Oxbridge Research Group Ltd employed ex markers, they were not able to officially grade essays or other work and had not explained upon what grounds the grade of the essay could be said to be 'guaranteed'."
It ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form.
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