Complaint: 09/785

Vodafone Flyer Advertisement


D. Kirkbeck
Unaddressed Mail
Upheld / Settled
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Decision Document





Chairman's Ruling

02 February 2010

Complaint 09/785

Complainant: D. Kirkbeck

Advertisement: Vodafone New Zealand Ltd

Complaint: A two sided flyer advertisement for Vodafone contained information about their 2 for 2 promotion.

The front of the flyer said:

"Now you can talk for 2 hours and pay no more than $2

Whether you're on Prepay or On Account, until 31 January 2010 you can call any Vodafone mobile, or any landline in New Zealand and in 30 countries around the world, and only pay $2 for 2 hours." ..

On the back of the flyer under the heading "Our Prepay mobile customers" it said:

"You're already set to go - simply call any mobile on the Vodafone NZ network, any national landline, or any overseas landline in 30 countries, anytime of the day or night, and pay no more than $2 for up to $2 hours."

Small print at the bottom of the back of the flyer contained: "For more information and full terms and conditions see"

Complainant, D. Kirkbeck, was of the view that the advertisement was misleading as they had made a call from their Vodafone mobile to another Vodafone mobile in Australia and they, plus the person they had been speaking to, had been charged more than the $2 limit.

The relevant provision was Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics

The Advertiser, Vodafone New Zealand Ltd, said: "We do not believe that this advertisement is misleading. The usual and accepted meaning of "any Vodafone mobile", when used in the context of advertising campaigns within the New Zealand market, is to mobiles on the Vodafone New Zealand network. This meaning is further specifically articulated on the flip-side of the pamphlet, which twice refers to calling "any mobile on the Vodafone NZ network".

The terms and conditions of the offer exclude customers using the Roaming service. This is a standard term for New Zealand promotional offers. We do not believe this constitutes a misleading qualification to the primary message of the Advertisement.

We understand that the complainant sought to use the offer calling his wife in Australia from his Vodafone NZ mobile. While his wife was also using a Vodafone NZ mobile, at the time of the call she was travelling in Australia and using the Roaming service.

We recognise that the complainant genuinely misinterpreted the message, and we apologise for any confusion caused. As soon as notification of the complaint was received, our marketing and communication teams were advised that any pending promotional material should replace references to "any Vodafone mobile" with "to "Vodafone NZ mobiles" or "mobiles on the Vodafone NZ network".

The advertised offer was promoted primarily as part. of our Christmas marketing campaign, with an end date of 31 January 2010. White we believe that the message of Advertisement was clear, we also note that as the offer draws to a close, the potential for ongoing confusion is now slight.

In order to resolve this situation, a Vodafone Customer Escalations Manager spoke with the complainant on 15 December 2009. The complainant advised that he had topped up his Vodafone Prepay mobile with $50 prior to calling his wife, She had topped up with $20. Both Prepay credit balances were exhausted as a result of the misinterpretation of the offer terms.

As a gesture of goodwill, Vodafone credited the connection of the dialling and receiving mobiles with $50 each, to a total of $100. The relevant numbers were provided to Vodafone on 22 December 2010 and the credit was processed accordingly.

We consider that appropriate action was taken in respect of this matter. In tight of the above, we ask that the Board consider this complaint settled."

The Chairman noted the explanation provided by the Advertiser and the self-regulatory action taken to rectify the issue. Accordingly, she said the matter was settled and it would serve no further purpose to place it before the Complaints Board.

The Chairman ruled the complaint was Settled.

Chairman's Ruling: Complaint Settled