The advertisers’ brochure under ‘March offers’ on page 3 referred to the following:
€49 IPHONE 4S, Now €29
€24 PER MONTH
AND DATA – 18 MONTH
UNLIMITED ANY NETWORK MINUTES AND TEXTS
5GB DATA UNLIMITED LANDLINE CALLS
Prices based on existing eircom customers only. Ask in-store for full details.”
The complainant said that on enquiry she discovered that the offer was for €24 per month for six months and then €39 per month for the following 12 months. She considered that the advertising was misleading.
The advertisers said that the plan referenced by the complainant was known as ‘eMobile Unlimited and data.’ The first six months of the contract was available at an offer price of €24 per month, after which the price increased to €39 per month, subject to staying within the conditions of the tariff. They stated that the price increase had been referenced in a footnote on page 21 of the brochure under eMobile Unlimited + Data. The advertisers said that they had also informed consumers in their advertising to ‘Ask in store for full details’. They said had the complainant visited one of their stores the full details of the offer would have been outlined to her by staff.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the plan price of €24 per month was an introductory offer and that this was not clear from the advertisement. They also noted the clarifying information was on another page with no indication to consumers that this was the case. They Committee considered that the advertisement was in breach of Sections 2.22 and 2.24 of the Code.”
The adverting must not appear in its current format again. The Committee said that the advertisers should ensure that where offers were introductory offers with subsequent changes to terms and conditions, it should be made clear to consumers.