Vodafone slapped on the wrist by ACMA

Vodafone slapped on the wrist by ACMA

The communications watchdog has issued a formal warning to Vodafone after the telco failed to adequately display charges for one of its mobile phone offers in a Melbourne print advertisement.

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The failure to prominently display standard charges was a breach of the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code – clause 4.2.6 ­- the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced today.

The advertisement appeared in Melbourne’s Herald Sun on 18 April.

ACMA said that providers who have text based advertisements which offer ‘included value’, such as Vodafone’s offer of $200 worth of calls and text on a $30 per month mobile phone plan, must prominently state their standard changes for the cost of a two minute national mobile call, cost of sending an SMS and the cost of using 1MB of data.

These standard charges are designed to assist consumers make informed choices when comparing the relative value of different telecommunications plans and offers.

ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman said: “The ACMA expects industry to prominently display key information when advertising their telecommunications offers to assist consumers in their purchasing decisions.

 “While the ACMA is pleased that Vodafone acted to rectify subsequent advertisements, mistakes like this really shouldn’t happen.”

Chapman said industry practice had generally been “good”. This is the first formal warning in an advertising matter and the seventh industry warning issued since the TCP code registration in September, 2012.