Vodafone NZ Ltd
DATE OF MEETING
13 March 2013
No Grounds to Proceed
Complaint: The newspaper advertisement for Vodafone's Business Smart Plan stated, in part:
"Nothing is cheaper
For calls to NZ landlines
With a Business Smart $69.57 plan, you don't pay a thing for calling landlines in New Zealand..."
Complainant, G. Smith, said the statement "$0 for calls to NZ landlines" for consumers if they purchased a $69.57 plan was self-contradictory.
The relevant provisions were Basic Principle 4 and Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics
The Chairman noted the Complainant's view that the advertisement was contradictory as free calls to NZ landlines were only available after signing up to a Business Smart $69.57 plan.
The Chairman then referred to a previous Complaints Board Decision (12/673) that was about a similar complaint. That Decision stated, in part:
"In the Advertisement we made it clear that customers would receive calls and texts to Telecom mobiles over the summer period for free, as long as they purchased the Value Pack. The Advertisement featured large type with the words 'Now you can Talk & Text for FREE to any Telecom mobile this summer for only $19 Monthly'. It also included the amount of any-net minutes, texts and data that customers would receive with their Value Pack."
The Complaints Board said the explanation from the Advertiser was clear as to the terms of the promotion.
The Complaints Board noted the concerns of the Complainant, but considered the inclusion of the words "Talk and Text for Free" with a monthly service fee did not reach the threshold to be considered misleading. It stated the explanation of the promotion was compliant with the Advertising Codes."
Turning to the complaint before her, the Chairman said the above Decision (12/673) was directly applicable to the complaint before her as the advertisement clearly stated that the free calls to New Zealand landlines were contingent on customers signing up to the Business Smart Plan.
Taking these findings into account, the Chairman said the advertisement was not likely to mislead or deceive consumers and, as such, was prepared with the due sense of responsibility. Therefore, she ruled there was no apparent breach of the Code of Ethics.
Accordingly, the Chairman ruled that there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Chairman's Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed