When is a 123 Reg sale not a sale? When it's a 'new customers only' offer

20 July 2019

I use 123 Reg to register domains and have done so happily for many years - though I was rather confused by a 'new customers only' offer recently.

My partner had decided to start a new project, so I thought I would help out by registering her chosen domain with my existing 123-reg account. I logged in, tapped in the domain name, and saw that it was available. Great! And guess what? It was on sale - costing only £0.99, down from £9.99:

Register domain at 123 Reg

Of course I went ahead and added it to my basket. Part way through the payment process I was then rather taken aback to see that the domain was actually going to cost me the full £9.99 for the year:

123 Reg basket

I'd totally missed the small print at the first step which said:

"This offer only applies for new customers for the first year. Limited to 1 domain per customer. This is not applicable for pre-orders."

I can understand (though don't necessarily agree with) introductory offers for new customers. However these introductory offers shouldn't be prominently displayed to existing customers who can't take advantage of them and who may find them misleading as a result.

For me, there's also a difference between a 'sale' price (which is presumably available to all) and an 'offer' price (which is more likely to have restrictions).  If the red label at the first step had said 'Offer!' rather than 'Sale!', perhaps I wouldn't have been so surprised.

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