Council wants full disclosure of mobile phone promotions

28/05/2010 11:20

THE Consumer Council is calling on mobile phone operators to fully disclose terms and conditions of their products and services so consumers are not misled.

The Council on Thursday 27/05/10 received a complaint over Inkk mobile's “1/2c per unit” promotion that appeared on page 27 of the Fiji Times newspaper on the same day.

The advertisement did not fully disclose the terms and conditions of the deal but claims that Inkk still offers the cheapest rate every day.  Through this advertisement Inkk is trying to attract more customers to join them in a deceptive way without disclosing the conditions.

Inkk did not disclose that $5 normal money is deducted each time a customer joins. A customer is only allowed to join once daily and remaining talk time is not carried forward. The calls are only application to on-net calls, i.e. within the Inkk/Vodafone network.

Furthermore, talk time is active once a customer receives a confirmation text. There is no indication how long will the confirmation text take. The service expires at midnight after just 5 days of joining.

Also customers need to wait for 1 to 2 hours before their account is credited with 1,000 units or free talktime (on-net calls only) and the free credit is limited only to 5 days. Inkk has also not declared when the promotion will end. And new customers cannot participate after 48 hours.

Furthermore, the claim to “Still the cheapest rate – Everyday!” is misleading because it fails to disclose all the conditions behind this offer. Behind the glossy catch phrase are the undisclosed finer prints which consumers are not aware of.

The Council is calling on Inkk and other mobile phone operators running similar promotions to fully disclose all terms and conditions so that consumers are not deceived through the “war of words” on the contrary are in a position to make an informed decision.

Consumers should not be misled into such promotions which are mainly geared towards more profits made irresponsibly.