Boots Opticians has come under fire from the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Agency for a voucher that the agency said misled customers into thinking that an eye exam would have no up-front costs for them. The leaflet, which said, «Free eye examination, or we'll refund the cost of your examination by another optician, if you buy a complete pair of glasses or contact lenses,» did not mention the fact that the exam by Boots would be reimbursed by the company; but the customer would have to pay for it first.
Boots noted that the leaflet was a voucher that it had handed out in its stores for years, but offered a new version that read: «Free eye test if you buy a complete pair of glasses or contact lenses. We'll even refund the cost of your eye test by another optician.» Under the «terms and conditions» section, it specified that the cost of the Boots exam would be reimbursed when the glasses or lenses were purchased. But the ASA said that this, too, was unclear as to the customer's initial responsibility since it specified that a competitor's exam would be «refunded» while a Boots exam would be «free.»
The ASA suggested the following: «Free eye test if you buy a complete pair of glasses or contact lenses. We will refund the cost of your Boots eye test and will even refund the cost by another optician.»