Last week, the NAD asked the US Postal Service do a better job of disclosing the restrictions on its “$50 insurance included in Priority Mail service” offer. The case started as a complaint from a consumer, who claimed the Postal Service lost a package she had mailed using the Priority Mail service. When the consumer filed a claim, she was advised that her refund would be only $15, plus postage. The consumer complained that the Postal Service’s ads didn’t disclose any restrictions on the reimbursement.
After reviewing the Postal Service’s ads, the NAD sided with the consumer. Because the ads didn’t disclose that there were any restrictions or limitations on the coverage, the ads reasonably conveyed that a consumer would be reimbursed a full $50 for a lost shipment using the Priority Mail service — not “up to” $50. Accordingly, the NAD recommended that the Postal Service make various changes to its ads, including to more clearly and conspicuously disclose the restrictions and limitations.
Although most NAD cases are initiated by competitors, this case serves as a reminder that consumers can also file a challenge. The case also services as another reminder (in case you needed one) that advertisers must always disclose any material restrictions or limitations on their offers.