Print This Post
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 5.15(a), 5.15(e)
A promotional direct email offer from Lycamobile stated:
“GET THE YEAR’S BIGGEST SAVINGS. THE GREAT BLACK FRIDAY OFFERS!
2 MONTHS FREE WHEN YOU BUY 1 MONTH. Offer valid – 23 to 26 Nov.
IRELAND PLUS €45 €15 - 3 months
25GB Data. Unlimited National Mins & Texts
Unlimited Poland & Romania Lycamobile Calls – BUY NOW”
The complainant, who had been a Lycamobile customer since late 2017, signed up to the offer. He said that he did not receive the advertised two free months and, on enquiry, was informed that the offer was for new customers only as outlined in the terms and conditions on the advertisers’ website.
The complainant queried why the offer had been sent to him, an existing customer, if it was the case that he was unable to avail of it.
The advertisers confirmed that the offer had only been open to new customers. They also confirmed that the email had not only been sent to potential new customers but also to existing customers.
The advertisers said that, in the email which was sent out, they had not stated in the body of the email that the promotion was only open to new customers. To avail of the promotional offer, however, the customer had to press on the “Buy Now” button which took them to the landing page where the terms and conditions of the offer were set out. They pointed out that the terms and conditions had included the following:
Black Friday Offer
The Black Friday offer is applicable to selected bundles and is available only to new online customers ordering a SIM with plan.
To benefit from this offer, customers will be required to pay only the first month and must enable autorenewal for the bundle. By selecting autorenewal, the second and third month will be renewed automatically without further charge. From the fourth month, the original bundle plan charge will be applied when auto renewing.
The advertisers said that even if existing customers had not read the terms and conditions, it would have been clear to them when they went to purchase the promotion that the offer was for new customers as they would have had to fill in their details to become customers and agree a contract with the Provider.
The advertisers said it was their opinion that the only way the complainant may not have been unaware that the offer was for new customers only was if he paid for his normal bundle without clicking the “BUY NOW” button.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Complaints Committee considered that the majority of consumers would be of the view that if a promotional email was sent directly to them from their provider, they would qualify for the offer(s) contained within the email. The Committee considered that it was a major condition that the promotion was only available to new customers and, as such, this should have been referenced in the main copy of the advertisement.
In view of the fact that the advertisement had not referenced the fact that the offer was applicable to new customers only in the body of the advertisement, the Committee concluded that the advertising was likely to mislead and to be in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4and 5.15(e) of the Code.
The Committee upheld the complaint.
The advertising should not be used in the same format again.