Vodafone Website Advertisement
16 February 2011
Complainant: K. Stewart
Advertisement: Vodafone New Zealand Limited
Complaint: The Vodafone webpage featured several Christmas promotions. One of these showed an image of a man smiling while a phone featuring an image of a Santa hat was held in place to look like he was wearing it. A yellow circle with the text: "$200 calling credit" featured next to him. Alongside this was the following text: "Get a $200 calling credit. We'll give you $200 worth of calling to NZ mobiles and landlines when you buy any 3G phone this Christmas for $199 and above. Register here for your $200 calling card."
Complainant, K. Stewart, said that the advertisement stated that if you have just purchased a 3G Vodafone mobile worth $199 or more, that you were entitled to $200 credit and the advertisement gave a link to follow. However, the Complainant said it that the advertisement did not stipulate that the phones have to be purchased online or through a Vodafone store. The Complainant had purchased their Vodafone phone through another outlet that was not a dedicated Vodafone store. As such, the Complainant felt that the advertisement was misleading.
The relevant provision was Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics.
The Advertiser, Vodafone New Zealand Limited, said "I can confirm that Noel Leeming was not excluded from the promotion... when the complainant called our service centre, the service representative clearly gave incorrect information as to the Promotion and its eligibility criteria as regards our partner stores... In light of the above, we consider that the cause of the complaint was due to service error on our part rather than a breach of Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics. I therefore apologise for any inconvenience caused to the complainant as they would have been eligible for the Promotion. I can confirm that the $200 calling credit was applied to their account on 2 February..."
The Chairman noted the response and apology from the Advertiser. She noted that the Complainant's concern had arisen from a service error on the part of the Advertiser. The Chairman was of the view that the matter had been settled in a self-regulatory manner and it would serve no further purpose to place it before the Complaints Board. The Chairman ruled that the complaint was settled.
Chairman's Ruling: Complaint Settled