The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has ruled that Vodacom must withdraw its “double data” advertising, following a complaint.
The Vodacom advertisement stated that “you get double the data when you buy data on the My Vodacom app”.
A consumer complaint was lodged against the advertisement, as the “double data” lasts for seven days, while the purchased data bundle lasts for 60 days.
“This discrepancy is not mentioned, meaning the advertising creates a false expectation of receiving double the amount purchased, when in reality the additional portion only lasts for a week,” said the consumer.
Vodacom responded, saying the advertisement states terms and conditions apply, and that a reasonable listener would visit its website to familiarise himself with the offer prior to committing to purchase.
Vodacom’s terms on the product state:
Customers who purchase a Mobile Internet Once-Off bundle through the My Vodacom app will qualify for an additional Mobile Internet data bundle of the same value allocated to their account and no extra cost to the customer. The Free additional mobile Internet bundle will only be valid for 7 days from the date of the purchase and allocation.
The ASA was not convinced, stating it is not clear where the information is available on the Vodacom website, and that a consumer will not be able to find the information easily.
It said the Vodacom commercial makes no pertinent mention of any additional limitation beyond “Ts and Cs apply”.
“This suggests no material limitation, implying that customers who have benefitted from double your data could deplete this data and enjoy the benefit to their heart’s content,” said the ASA.
“At best, the notice that the free additional mobile Internet bundle will only be valid for 7 days serves to contradict the initial impression created.”
The ASA said the advert is potentially misleading and ordered Vodacom to withdraw it with immediate effect.