The Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) found that MTN had misled customers with a promotion it was running for the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy A22 5G.
Complainant Ethel Zulu brought the matter to the attention of ARB, where the advertisement showed that a customer could get the Galaxy S21 for R449 per month over 36 months.
According to the announcement, subscribers could add a Galaxy A22 5G for an additional R29 per month.
However, a business consultant told Zulu that the contract would be R728 per month, which is R250 more than expected.
The ARB offered MTN the opportunity to respond to the complaint. MTN did not provide comment except to acknowledge receipt of the request and thank the self-regulatory association for its work.
The ARB reviewed MTN’s terms and conditions for a possible explanation. He said the operator’s presentation of its product- and promotion-specific terms is incredibly confusing.
“We note that even if the explanation is there [in the T&Cs]it simply corrects a misleading impression already created by the advertisement,” the ARB said.
“The advertisement itself always gives the impression that the offer is available as advertised.”
He found that MTN’s advertising was misleading.
“Management is of the opinion that the way the advertisement is formatted will lead the reasonable hypothetical person to believe that the offer is all-inclusive and that there are no additional charges to apply,” she said. declared.
“There is no explanation before the Branch as to what happened with the plaintiff, nor any evidence showing that a consumer may be able to purchase both mobile handsets and a service contract. …at the advertised prices,” ARB noted.
The ARB ruled that the ad violated its code of advertising practices.
MTN must remove or modify its advertising for the offer to include all costs and fees.
MyBroadband asked MTN to comment on the issue, but they had not responded to our questions at the time of publication.