Afrihost was ordered by the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) to remove its claim to offer “a free GB, every month, forever”.
Afrihost promotes its free ADSL accounts on its website, highlighting that the free 1GB of ADSL data is “free every month”, that “anyone can sign up”, and that “no contract” is required.
However, when one consumer’s relationship with Afrihost soured, his free gigabyte of ADSL data was terminated.
He was not happy, and lodged a complaint with the ASA. He argued that Afrihost’s free GB offer is not unconditional as the company promised.
Afrihost responded, saying that its free GB product is offered completely free of charge, but is subject to its terms and conditions.
“Our business relationship with the complainant was terminated due to non-payment and repeated failure to keep his accounts in good order,” said Afrihost.
“Our terms of service clearly allows us to suspend and discontinue any and all services to a client with poor payment history.”
The ASA was not convinced by Afrihost’s argument, saying that its claims “create an overwhelming impression that the Free GB offer is ‘Completely Free’, irrespective of surrounding circumstances, irrespective of whether or not one’s account is in good standing”.
“The point is emphasised that no payment is needed and that this offer is ‘… really that simple’ and that there is no ‘small print’,” said the ASA.
The authority ruled that the Afrihost Free GB advertising is misleading, and should be removed with immediate effect.