Advertising by Lycamobile on their website offered information in relation to their various National Bundles. The advertising stated:
“With Lycamobile National Bundles you get fantastic savings to call all your family and friends in Ireland! If you buy a Lycamobile Bundle, you are guaranteed to receive more minutes for your money than by calling on our standard rates. Get extra landline and mobile minutes to call your loved ones any time, everyday! There is no contract to sign and you have full control over the minutes you use.
Why should you buy a Lycamobile bundle?
Get guaranteed extra minutes to call your friends and family
Total control of your minutes – you can check the number of minutes you have left via text by selecting *137# send or selecting *137# Dial or by Calling Customer Services
No contract to sign
Only pay one, low cost, monthly fee”
The screenshot forwarded by the complainant related to the National 19 Bundle which offered the following:
350 National minutes
350 National texts
500 MB National DATA
Lycamobile Ireland calls & texts”
The terms and conditions on the website covered all the National Bundles offered and referred to the following:
“Terms & Conditions
The Lycamobile Bundle costs €9, €14, €19, €29 and gives 150, 250, 350 & Unlimited free minutes & texts to National Landlines or mobiles (calls to Special or premium numbers will not be applicable), and gives 100MB, 200MB, 500MB & Unlimited Mobile Internet data respectively. (Unlimited usage is subject to a variation of speed from 3G to 2G for usage beyond 1GB during the month per SIM to ensure unlimited usage for all customers) Plus unlimited free calls & Text to Lycamobile to Lycamobile within Republic of Ireland…”
The complainant considered the advertising to be misleading. He queried how the advertisers could refer to the data allowance on offer as being “Unlimited” while referring to restrictions in the terms and conditions. He said that the advertisers were placing restrictions on a customer’s usage by limiting their connection from a 3G connection to a 2G connection when their usage went beyond 1GB per month.
The advertisers when contacted by telephone said that they had not received the initial correspondence in the case. This correspondence was sent to them again by email and post and they acknowledged receipt of same. They did not, however, provide a response to the complaint.
The advertisement must not run in its current form again.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and expressed their concerns at the advertisers’ failure to respond in the matter. They reminded them that there was an onus on all advertisers to demonstrate that their advertising was in conformity with the Code. In the absence of the advertisers’ response the Committee upheld the complaint under Section 2.7 of the Code.