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Trading Standards, ASA confirm BT 'Advent Calendar' probe

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Trading Standards officers and the Advertising Standards Authority are investigating BT concerning its "Advent Calendar" promotion on its "BT Shop" website.

Customers complained that BT increased the price of items on sale immediately before introducing a discount of up to 30 per cent.

BT has denied that it fiddled the prices on its Advent Calendar promo, which promises that punters can "save up to 30 per cent on your Christmas gifts [such as digital cameras, pocket PCs and phones] with our fantastic daily offer".

In a statement last week BT said: "BT retail prices are influenced by supply costs and market conditions, products and prices may change on a daily basis. The future 30 per cent discount promotions in the Advent calendar have not yet been published on the site, each one is published on the day and are not available until they are published.

"BT reserves the right to change products, prices, promotion dates and discount voucher codes prior to publication. Each offer is valid only for one day and the discount applies to the price of that product on that day. The use of voucher codes provides customers with genuine savings and is not dependant upon a pre-established sales price."

Despite this, at least two Trading Standards offices are investigating complaints from customers about the offer. Officials declined to release any further details while the matter was under review.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is also investigating BT's festive offer following a complaint, a spokeswoman for the ad watchdog confirmed today. ®

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