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Clydesdale grounds Hoover's flight offer

SCOTLAND's largest electrical retailer, Clydesdale Electrical Stores, has suspended the free Hoover flights offer from its 120 stores throughout Britain.

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Despite assurances from Hoover that it would do its utmost to honour all claims, Clydesdale said yesterday it would not take part in the free flights offer until Hoover gave the retail company a ''cast-iron guarantee'' that all claimants would receive flights.

Hoover said it has launched an inquiry into the promotion offering free airline tickets for flights to Europe to purchasers of Hoover goods.

It also insisted it would do its utmost to honour all claims under its current offer of two free flights to the US with any Hoover purchase above #100.

Concern over the European offer, run for Hoover by JSI Travel, of Dorset, arose after applicants for tickets were told to resubmit their claims with three alternative dates at least 30 days apart and naming three alternative destinations.

A spokeswoman for Hoover said there had been ''an error'' by the travel company and they were now writing to the applicants to inform them that the original terms of the offer still stood.

On the American offer, of two return tickets either to New York or Orlando, Florida, the spokeswoman said all claims would be met subject to ticket availability.

Clydesdale, which yesterday launched a new offer in conjunction with the British Airways subsidiary Air Miles, said it had suspended the Hoover scheme ''in the interests of its own customers''. However, the firm said it was confident Hoover would give the required guarantees, which would in turn allow Clydesdale to participate in the promotion again.

Clydesdale's marketing director, Mr Stuart Laing, said: ''We are concerned that the whole concept of free flights and holiday promotions in general may have been tarnished and we are anxious to restore confidence in what are remarkable offers for the consumer.''

He added: ''Hoover, and the people involved with the promotion, have probably miscalculated the actual uptake of the promotion.''

In a statement released last night, Hoover said it regretted Clydesdale's decision but hoped that ''when they see that our problems have been cleared up maybe they will come back on board''.

The new Clydesdale offer, available from tonight, includes, with certain purchases, three night's accommodation for two adults and two children at Euro Disney for #128 per person and four free return flights to Paris

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