Matrix Warehouse advertised a Barebone PC special, which contained an image of a PC box. This product did not contain Hard Disk Drives or CD/DVD Writers.
Martin Nyirenda, an IT Engineer, lodged a complaint with the ASA, arguing that a ‘barebone PC’ is a system without optional extras, such as a Sound Card, Graphics Card or Ethernet Cards.
“For a product to be called a PC it would require at least a Motherboard, Memory (RAM) and Processor (CPU) and a Hard Drive,” he said.
Matrix Warehouse responded, saying that its barebone PC advertisement did not give any indication that these PCs come with a Hard Drive.
They argued that many websites describe a “barebone PC” as generally consisting only of a case, power supply and a motherboard.
The ASA called on the Computer Society of South Africa (CSSA) for help, and the organisation said that a barebone PC (computer) is regarded as containing a Motherboard and Power Supply.
“Some manufacturers will have the inclusion of a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) as a component of a Barebones PC, but many do not,” the CSSA said.
“The general consensus … is that a Barebones PC is to be assembled by the user and consists of a minimum of a computer case, a motherboard and a power supply, with all other components being additional”.
The ASA said that it was happy that a hypothetical reasonable person would not be mislead into expecting more than what Matrix Warehouse was offering in its barebone PC special.
The ASA subsequently dismissed the complaint.