The Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) has ruled that Me & You Mobile’s “Unlimited Talk” claim is misleading as it does not offer a truly unlimited service.
Me & You Mobile advertised three “Unlimited Talk” packages with the caveat that a “fair use policy applies”.
The fair usage policy limits calls to 150 unique numbers and limits the minutes used to 1,500 per month.
Devan Kistnasami lodged a complaint with the ARB, arguing the advertising is misleading as it does not offer a truly unlimited package.
Me & You Mobile responded, saying other network providers also have a fair usage policy with regard to their unlimited packages.
It added that its website is specific regarding the terms and conditions related to the advertised package.
Its website states that “You may not originate calls to more than 150 unique numbers and exceed 1,500 minutes monthly on the Unlimited R399 Package and not exceed 2,500 minutes on the R599 unlimited package”.
The ARB was not satisfied with Me & You Mobile’s argument that other players also have fair use policies and that its website clarifies the limitations.
The ARB said it is common cause that the minutes are limited to 1,500 with the Unlimited R399 package, and that a customer cannot make calls to more than 150 unique numbers in any month.
It referenced a previous case where it was ruled that “in the case of unlimited claims it is generally accepted that there should be no limitation”.
It said “unlimited” has a clear meaning – not limited; unrestricted; boundless; infinite; without any qualification or exception.
Terms and Conditions and Fair Usage Policies cannot be used to change the meaning of a word, only to clarify it.
To say that there are “Unlimited” minutes and then clarify that the minutes are limited is like saying that an item is free, except that you have to pay for some of it.
“It is two contradictory statements and is therefore inherently misleading,” the ARB said.
The ARB subsequently ruled that the claim “Unlimited Talk” is misleading as the offer does not carry unlimited minutes.
The ARB ordered Me & You Mobile to withdraw its “Unlimited Talk” claim and refrain from using it in future.