IT Brief NZ - Complaints board throws out 2degrees carryover data complaint

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Complaints board throws out 2degrees carryover data complaint

The Advertising Standards Authority has released the decision made by the Complaints Board over a complaint that 2degrees falsely advertised it was the only mobile provider with rollover data.

An in-store poster advertisement contained, in large white type, that “Only 2degrees gives you Pay Monthly Carryover Data that doesn't disappear every month.” The 2degrees logo appeared in the bottom corner of the advertisement.

According to the ASA, the complainants concern was that the poster stated 2degrees was the only mobile provider with roll over data, when Vodafone also has a roll over plan at the same rate.

However, the Complaints Board determined the advertisement was clearly referring to Pay Monthly plans and did not claim that 2degrees was the only company offering carryover data in all circumstances – only on Pay Monthly plans.

As a result, the Complaints Board ruled to not uphold the complaint.

In determining the result, the Complaints Board had to consider the advertisement with reference to Basic Principle 4 and Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics and Principle 1 of the Code for Comparative Advertising, the ASA says.

“This required the Complaints Board to consider whether the advertisement had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society and whether it had been truthfully presented or whether it contained any statement or visual presentation or created an overall impression which directly or by implication, omission, ambiguity or exaggerated claim was misleading or deceptive, was likely to deceive or mislead the consumer, made false and misleading representation, abused the trust of the consumer or exploited his or her lack of experience or knowledge.”

2degrees agreed their advertisement stated that indeed “Only 2degrees gives you Pay Monthly Carryover Data that doesn't disappear every month.”

“The in-store poster describes one of the benefits available on our Pay monthly plans, namely the availability of Carryover Data,” 2degrees says.

“The representation made in the in-Store Poster is true and accurate as 2degreees offers Carryover Data on its Pay Monthly plans and Vodafone, Spark and Skinny do not.

“It is therefore correct that only 2degrees offers this benefit.”

2degrees says the poster makes a “like-for-like” comparison in respect of Pay Monthly benefits.

“It does not claim that we are the only mobile provider that offers carryover data in all circumstances as we are aware that both Skinny and Vodafone offer a carryover data option on certain prepaid plans,” it says.

2degrees says the poster clearly references 'Pay Monthly' and does not make any claims or representations in respect of prepaid services.

Pay Monthly is 2degrees’ brand name for its ‘on account’ plans. According to 2degrees, it is a product distinct from pre-pay.

According to the ASA, 2degrees says the complainant had stated that Vodafone also had a roll over plan at the same rate, but was ‘mistaken’ because Vodafone did not offer roll over data on any of its comparable “on account” plans.

The Complaints Board confirmed that the advertisement clearly referred to Pay Monthly plans, which, it says, the Complainant appeared to have missed.

“The advertisement did not claim that 2degrees was the only company offering carryover data in all circumstances, just on Pay Monthly plans.”

The Complaints Board noted that Vodafone had a pre-pay carryover plan but not a Pay Monthly account plan, and that the roll over in the advertisement “clearly pertained” to the 2degrees Pay Monthly account rather than the prepaid term offered by Vodafone.

The Complaints Board found that the advertisement was not in breach of Basic Principle 4 and Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics, and confirmed that 2degrees was the only provider with data carryover on monthly post-paid plans.

The Complaints Board therefore ruled the complaint was Not Upheld.

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