Complaint: 09/825

Vodafone Website Advertisement


C. Donnelly
Digital Marketing
Household Goods
No Grounds to Proceed
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Decision Document





Chairman's Ruling

23 December 2009
Complaint 09/825

Complainant: C. Donnelly

Advertisement: Vodafone New Zealand Ltd

Complaint: the website advertisement said "MY SKY HDI find out how to get it free here - Sign up to an Ideal or Ultimate pack and SKY with Vodafone, and we'll give you MY SKI HDI for free." Instructions on how to take up the offer and Terms and Conditions were printed below.

Complainant, C. Donnelly, was of the view that the offer was misleading as after having sought clarification and signed up to the "free" offer they were informed the deal would cost them over $50 per month. The Complainant said "...there was no clear information about pricing except that it was continually referred to as "free"."

The relevant provision was Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics.

The Chairman noted C. Donnelly's concern about the "free" offer in the advertisement. She also noted that the Complainant had sought clarification of the offer before signing on, and this had not revealed that there was a cost involved to take up the "free MY SKY HDI". However, the Chairman noted that the advertisement advised that a consumer was required to sign up to an "Ideal or Ultimate Pack and Sky with Vodafone" to receive the "free MY SKY HDI" and said that the amount charged to the Complainant appeared to relate to that condition. In her view the "free MY SKY HDI" was available in combination with other purchasable packs and this was indicated in the advertisement. She said there was no requirement to include prices in the advertisement, but that information should have been available when requested via phone.

The Chairman was of the view that the advertisement did not meet the threshold to be said to be misleading or deceptive to the consumer and there was no apparent breach of the Advertising Codes.

Accordingly, the Chairman ruled that there were no grounds to proceed.

Chairman's Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed