Vodafone Website Advertisement
29 January 2007
Advertisement: Vodafone New Zealand Ltd
Complaint: The Vodafone website advertisement promoted the You Choose(TM) plan saying: "You Choose(TM) the things you want, and leave out the things you don't. And you can change your plan whenever you like to suit your changing needs." Information in the Vodafone NZ Helpdesk section in answer to the question: "How do I upgrade or downgrade one of my existing Add-Ons?" gave the various ways in which this could be done. It included: "Your existing Add-On will remain in place until the date of your next account. ... The new Add-On won't activate until your existing Add-On expires at the date of your next statement. ... Wait to the start of the billing cycle before the upgraded is activated."
Complainant, S. Baird, was of the view that the advertisement was misleading as "it is Vodafone's policy not to change add-ons until the end of the billing month not "whenever you like" as their advertising states."
The relevant provision was Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics.
The Chairman noted the complainant's concern. However, on reading the advertisement he noted that it advised the consumer that although Add-ons could be requested at any time or "whenever you like", they came into effect at the beginning of the next monthly billing cycle, when the existing Add-On expired. As such, he said the advertiser had made a reasonable effort to explain all aspects of the offer, the advertisement was not misleading and there was no apparent breach of the Advertising Codes.
The Chairman ruled that there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Chairman's Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed