Purple Parking promotion stalls after bait-and-switch

7 July 2011

The last example of bait-and-switch we exposed was from Tesco; the latest is from airport car-park meisters Purple Parking. If you're on their mailing list, you may have received a marketing promotion earlier in the week, like avid Bitterwallet reader Stuart:

"We go away to Murcia in a fortnight and we're flying from Leeds-Bradford. It a long drive to the airport so the email appeared at the right time... and with a decent offer."

The offer was 20% off all bookings made in the next seven days. That's what it clearly said in the subject line of the email:

Bitterwallet - Purple Parking marketing bait and switch 1

And that's the deal that blazed across the header of the email - no asterisks to suggest small print, no 'up to' to warn the customer that a lesser deal was waiting for them:

Bitterwallet - Purple Parking promotion bait and switch 2

"You win everytime... get a roaring 20% off!" And so when Tony immediately clicked through to the website and checked his dates, he was a little miffed to discover Purple Parking would only give him an discount of 7.5% - which was rounded up to 8%:

Picture 2

We contacted Purple Parking to ask why they were misleading customers with their email marketing campaign, only to be told:

The promotional offer you received is offering discounts up to 20% on selected car parks and services. If you have anymore queries please do not hesitate to get back in touch.

Looking again at the email, it's only after you scroll down below a second large "Click Here to Get a Quote" link that's already below the fold, that you see a single mention of the restrictions, but they're nowhere to be seen in the subject line or the main body of the ad, nor is there any other indication that you're unlikely to enjoy the offer as advertised.

Any more examples of bait-and-switch? Send them to [email protected].


  • Dick
  • Dick
    Try skypark instead, they do a week's parking for about £35 at LBA. Reasonable parking, shit airport.
  • Dick
    Try skypark instead, they do a week's parking for about £35 at LBA.
  • Dick
    Why the fuck is it taking hours for posts to appear?
  • Justin A.
    I'm surprised the uproar over the Zavvi games pre-order/clothing bundle offer that never was hasn't been featured in Bitterwallet. A lot of people feel that was a bait and switch. Huge thread about it on HUKD.
  • Doctor S.
    that's because people on HDUK are cunts
  • Grumpy
  • Paul S.
    Justin - always worth letting us know if you think it should be on BW - [email protected]
  • crumble
    Complain to the ASA.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment