Business

Eurotunnel weather claim banned

Eurotunnel trains
Image caption Eurotunnel limited services in December when there was heavy snowfall

An advert that claimed the Eurotunnel service could run "whatever the weather" has been banned by a watchdog.

Eurotunnel, which runs car and freight services through the Channel Tunnel and is separate from Eurostar, made the claim in a promotional e-mail.

But a passenger complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, saying he had been stuck for several hours at check-in in December because of snow.

The watchdog said the service could be affected by weather in the future.

Disruption

When severe weather hit the UK and continental Europe in December, five Eurostar trains broke down in the tunnel because the of the cold conditions.

Eurostar is an entirely independent company and service from Eurotunnel, and while Eurostar trains broke down because of the snow, Eurotunnel said its own shuttle trains continued to be able to function.

However, the Eurostar trains caused delays in the tunnel and resulted in a temporary suspension of the Eurotunnel service.

The company argued that a "reasonable consumer would not take an absolute view of the claim 'whatever the weather'".

But the advertising watchdog ruled that the e-mail was misleading and should not be repeated in its current form.

"We considered that the absolute claim 'whatever the weather' could not be made if, in order for it to be true, Eurotunnel were dependent on other companies and infrastructure functioning normally in bad weather," it said.

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