Thursday, April 17, 2014

Consumer council tackles MTN on airplane promo

Published:

The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has directed MTN to make sure consumers receive adequate information on its recharge and win aircraft promotion, tagged MTN-Ultimate Wonder Campaign Promotion.

The CPC disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja by Abiodun Obimuyiwa, its deputy director, Public Relations.

It said the communication company was given the directive at a meeting convened by the council to address the apprehension and concerns raised by consumers on the promotion.

It said Ms Oyeronke Oyetunde, the General Manager, Regulatory Affairs, CPC, noted that MTN had left out some information needed to adequately guide consumers on the promotion.

“MTN left out the market value of the aircraft to be won, the size of the plane, the delivery period of the aircraft to an eventual winner or cash equivalence in local currency for a winner, who may prefer a cash reward for the grand prize.

 ”Similarly, the council frowned at the fact that consumers, in all the existing communications on the promotion, are not properly directed to the site where the terms and conditions applicable to the promotion are published and the fact that the reference to those terms was in small print.’’

It directed the communication outfit to reflect and correct all these lapses in its subsequent media interactions and communication.

The statement said MTN had assured it would comply with the directives within the next two or three weeks because of the intricacies involved, particularly in the change of its advertisement.

It said the MTN team had explained that the promotion was introduced because “we wanted to do something different and to start something that would excite our consumers”.

According to the statement, the team pointed out that the grand prize is a four-seater aircraft, worth $400,000 which is equivalent to N72million.

It said, however, that an order had yet to be made because of the possibility of its winner preferring a cash award.

“When questioned on what will be made available if the possible winner prefers the aircraft, the team disclosed that an order would thereafter be made, delivery of which would take six or eight weeks.’’

The statement quoted Ify Umenyi, the Director General of CPC, as saying that the lapses discovered in the promotion underlined the council’s insistence that promotions must be vetted before going public.

She assured the CPC would add more steps to curb abuse of consumers through sales promotions.

The steps are: publishing on its website, its face book and other sources, sales promotions approved by it and those not subjected for vetting in the interest and well-being of consumers.

“The steps have become inevitable because of the increasing number of sales promotions being introduced in different sectors of the economy, some of which are intended to deceive consumers.’’

 MTN had on Aug. 17 in Lagos launched the Ultimate Wonder, a new customer-based ‘recharge and win’ promo.

Customers are expected to win weekly cash prizes while the ultimate winner would go home with a Cessna 182TAeroplane in a grand prize presentation in October.

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