Beauty treatment booking website Wahanda changed the terms of a £10-off code by introducing a £20 minimum spend, denying shoppers the deal it originally promised.
A code giving £10 off treatments booked via Wahanda — which stated it was available until 12 June — was promoted on Stylist magazine's website, and included in our weekly email, sent to over eight million recipients. (See Beauty Deals and Discount Vouchers for the latest offers.)
What made the deal so attractive was that no minimum spend was required. So, as Wahanda told MoneySavingExpert.com in an email, it could bag shoppers totally free manicures, waxing sessions and more.
The T&Cs on Stylist's website also, at that time, did not mention a minimum spend amount.
However, at 10am on Wednesday morning, Wahanda changed the deal and introduced a £20 minimum spend, citing "fraudulent activity" as the reason for doing so.
Rather than simply identifying and dealing with any fraudulent purchases, Wahanda's decision meant free treatments were no longer available to genuine shoppers who wanted to take advantage of the offer as it was originally publicised.
Having pushed Wahanda, without success, to reconsider and honour the deal to all genuine customers who saw it on Stylist's website and in our weekly email, we will now report the deal to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), as we believe it may have broken its rules.
The ASA can ban promotions from appearing again. We feel this would be the best consumer outcome from this situation, given that Wahanda won't reconsider its stance.
If you were disadvantaged by the change Wahanda made to the deal, you can also lodge a complaint with the ASA.
- Wahanda introduces £20 minimum spend on £10-off deal, changing T&Cs
- Shoppers who saw deal on Stylist website, via MSE email, miss out on free treatments
- MSE is reporting Wahanda to the Advertising Standards Authority
"Wahanda is an established company, and while we obviously did not encourage any fraudulent activity, this is par for the course with hot online deals. We expected they would be able to implement simple systems to combat this.
"It's important that promotions like this, once they are constructed and agreed by retailers — who are on the hunt for new customers — are stuck to.
"Otherwise we run the risk of an online deals Wild West, where shoppers can't be sure if they'll actually get the offers they've been promised."
Wahanda said anyone who used the code before the T&Cs changed will not have a minimum spend imposed.
However, the original terms and conditions said that the no-minimum spend offer was valid until 12 June. Many people seeing the offer in our weekly email will not have been able to act before the change, and will therefore be disappointed if they planned to use the code on a transaction of under £20.
A Wahanda spokesperson said: "This offer was originally launched for Stylist readers and has been live for nearly a week without incident.
"Unfortunately, after the offer was featured in MSE, we saw an overwhelming number of incidences of fraud.
"In this instance, we were not able to deal with the fraud independently of the entire offer, as this has implications for our supply partners which would make the promotion entirely unsustainable.
"To avoid turning off the deal entirely, the only feasible solution was to attach a £20 minimum spend — we kept all other aspects of the offer unchanged."