Complaint: 17/048

Vodafone NZ Ltd, Website


Digital Marketing
Electronic and ICT
Upheld / Settled
ASA Links
Website Listing
Decision Document


P Rea
Vodafone NZ Ltd
Vodafone NZ Ltd, Website
22 February 2017

The advertisement on the website promoted an
iPhone 7 from $399 upfront, on a $99.99 Red+ Essentials, 24 month term plan.

Complainant P Rea said: "Just writing to highlight some very misleading information on
Vodafone that I found when trying to purchase a new phone.

I wanted to resign for another 24 months on a $99 red plan and get the iPhone 7... so
selected it as such- and all good so far see below screenshots from both your mobile and
website. It clearly shows from $399 on my selected specific plan ($99.00 Red + Essentials).

So I've then proceeded to next step- still shows $800 discount and a monthly cost of $99 but
its now changed plan to the Red + plan which costs $129 yet clearly shows monthly cost of

Now I totally accept advertising a phone with terms saying "starting at / or from a certain
price" However when you select a specific priced plan and it confirms you've selected a plan
costing $XX and the phone will cost $XXX only to then try to charge $200 more!!! when
actually purchasing seems quite deliberately misleading and potentially a way of catching
out people.?"

The Chair ruled the complaint was Settled.

The relevant provisions were Code of Ethics, Basic Principle 4, Rule 2.

The Advertiser, Vodafone, said, in part:

Vodafone is very sorry to hear of the difficulties P Rea has experienced in attempting to
purchase a new phone. They contacted us on the Friday 3 February 2017 by email to notify
us of the issue. On receipt of this complaint, a member of our Customer Care team
contacted P Rea by phone, made note of the online error and processed the order as
requested. P Rea submitted this complaint to the ASA the following day on Saturday 4
February 2017.

We understand that, at a later stage of the online order process, our website's "Product
Detail" page included reference to a higher value plan than the one P Rea had originally
selected. Although the 'default' plan description was incorrect, we can confirm that if P Rea
had proceeded to checkout, they would have been charged for the selected $99.99 per
month plan.

We have investigated the matter fully and can confirm that P Rea's experience was the
result of a technical website error. We have now rectified the issue and removed all
reference to the default plan.

The Chair noted that the Advertiser had investigated the complaint, identified the problem
with the website, had resolved the issue and taken steps to ensure it does not occur again.

Noting the self-regulatory actions of the Advertiser, the Chair said it served no further
purpose to place the matter before the Complaints Board for consideration and she ruled the
matter was Settled.

Chair's Ruling: Complaint Settled