Council cautions consumers on Vodafone ‘Recharge Bonanza’ Promotions

12/11/2009 10:45

Vodafone’s latest promotions Recharge Bonanza gives the impression that consumers recharging  for $5 would get $10 free credit, $33 free credit for $11 recharge, $60 free credit for $15 and $125  free credit for $25 recharge.  However, the Consumer Council of Fiji would like to caution the consumers not to get lured by such promotions as it is misleading.

The truth is for $5 recharge, consumers only get $5 free credit, for $11 recharge consumers get $22 free credit, for $60 recharge consumers get $45 free credit and for $25 recharge consumers get $100 free credit.  Vodafone’s Recharge Bonanza promotions is in response to its competitor Digicel’s pre-pay plan Get FREE with Digicel  where Digicel is giving away $100 free credit with every $20 top-up.

It is important that mobile companies should clearly give the message and not lure customers with unclear information to get consumers hooked on its mobile network.   For example, the Digicel advertisement very clearly states that with every $20 top-up customers will get $100 free credit and this free credit can only be used to call within the Digicel network only. However, the Vodafone advertisement gives the impression that for every $25 re-charge customers will get five times more the value which is $125 free credit.  This is not true - for every $25 recharge with Vodafone-customers only gets $100 free credit which is four times the value and not five.  

What further disturbs the Council is the fact that Vodafone slogan of double up for $5, triple up for $11, four up for $15 and five up for $25 is continuously repeated in the media especially on radio stations as well as in the Letters to the Editor today (the Fiji Sun) as “the best deal” and this is creating a misconception amongst the consumers.

The Council is very much concerned with the advertising tactics used by Vodafone to entice customers. Misleading advertisements is a serious offence and prohibited under the Fair Trading Decree 1992.