An MTN promotional SMS sent to a customer regarding its Double Your Bundle deal is misleading, the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) has found.
The self-regulatory body has ordered MTN to withdraw the advertisement or offer the deal as advertised.
This ruling comes after a customer complained over an SMS they received from MTN saying the operator was running a promotion on its voice bundles, claiming that it would double the minute allocation.
“Pay once, get it twice! For only R27 get 60 Any-Net min + 60 Any-Net min free, valid for 7 days. Dial *142# and select DoubleYourBundle. OptOut dial *135#,” the message read.
However, the complainant, Makhosini Kekana could not access the promotion and said he wouldn’t have purchased the bundle had it not been for the promotional SMS he received.
“The Complainant is of the view that the advertised offer was not available nor did it exist,” the ARB wrote in its report.
“The Complainant further stated that he purchased airtime which he would not have purchased had he not been misled by the SMS Advertisement.”
MTN responded to the ARB, claiming that the advertisement was not misleading.
However, the mobile operator acknowledged that there could have been database errors in the rendering process or an error in the message sent to the customer.
The ARB deemed that the advertisement sent to Kekana contravened the Code of Advertising Practice.
Clause 4.2.1 of section II states: “advertisements should not contain any statement or visual presentation which, directly or by implication, omission, ambiguity, inaccuracy, exaggerated claim or otherwise, is likely to mislead the consumer”.
MTN told MyBroadband that it had noted the Advertising Regulatory Board ruling regarding the complaints brought forward by Kekana, and said it would revise its advertising to provide better clarity.
“MTN will revise its advertising to ensure clarity of all applicable contractual commitments,” it said.
“MTN will also honour the deal commitment to the impacted customer at the advertised price.”