Vodafone Website Advertisement
Meeting 6 May 2008
Complainant: R. Mulgan
Advertisement: Vodafone New Zealand Limited
Wording below said:
Whether its wear and tear or a fault on a brandnew device, not having a working mobile can be a big expensive hassle.
So if your mobile breaks down, call Vodafone for a mobileRescue,
With just one call to Vodafone, we'll have a loan mobile on its way to you and your mobile on its way to a Vodafone-authorised repair agent and you'll be back on the air ready to get on with business or back to your social life."
Complainant, R. Mulgan, said:
Where: By searching online
Product: Vodafone mobile
The "mobile rescue" service claims by making a call to vodafone a courier can be arranged to collect a damaged mobile and provide a loan one for use while it is being repaired. However, ringing vodafone (777) they said this has to be arranged with individual stores. The three stores in my area said they cannot provide loan phone. Vodafone also said in that case I should make the arrangement by ringing another part of their operation on 0800 837 8673. The operator on this number advised me "mobilerescue" is only available for phones purchased online. Nowhere in the advertisement does it say this. It appears this service for meaningful purposes does not exist."
The Chairman ruled that the following provision was relevant:
Code of Ethics
Rule 2: Truthful Presentation - Advertisements should not contain any statement or visual presentation or create an overall impression which directly or by implication, omission, ambiguity or exaggerated claim is misleading or deceptive, is likely to deceive or mislead the consumer, makes false and misleading representation, abuses the trust of the consumer or exploits his/her lack of experience or knowledge. (Obvious hyperbole, identifiable as such, is not considered to be misleading).
The Advertiser, Vodafone New Zealand Limited, said:
"The complainant alleges that the Vodafone mobileRescue service ("mobileRescue service") website content breaches Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics because it did not state that the service is restricted to phones purchased online. It appears that when the complainant was advised that the Vodafone mobileRescue service is "only available for phones purchased online" the customer was simply misinformed by a Customer Service Representative. The restriction is not stated in the information about the mobileRescue service on the website as no such restriction applies.
The complainant's concern relating to the mobileRescue service results from a service failure. We regret that the complainant experienced such a failure. Vodafone will be ensuring that our Customer Service team receive further training and are aware of the mobileRescue service procedure. We do not believe there is any other basis upon which our website advertisement might be considered misleading.
I understand we are unable to contact the customer directly so ask that the ASA could please obtain the complainant's permission for it to pass on the contact details to Vodafone. Vodafone will then contact the complainant in relation to this matter."
The Complaints Board perused the relevant correspondence and the website advertisement. It noted the Complainant, R. Mulgan, was of the view that the advertisement was misleading as they had been informed that "mobileRescue" was only available for phones purchased on-line.
The Chairman directed the Complaints Board to consider the complaint with reference to Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics.
The Complaints Board noted the response received from the advertiser, which explained that the customer had regrettably been misinformed by a Customer Service Representative. Accordingly, it accepted that the offer in the advertisement was for a mobile phone regardless of how it had been purchased.
As such, the Complaints Board said the advertisement was not misleading and ruled that it was not in breach of Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics.
The Complaints Board ruled to not uphold the complaint.
Decision: Complaint Not Upheld