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Home Rulings MWEB / MWEB FIBRE / ALBERT VAN DER MERWE / 2018 - 7896F

MWEB / MWEB FIBRE / ALBERT VAN DER MERWE / 2018 - 7896F

Mr van der Merwe lodged a consumer complaint against the Respondent’s on line advertising appearing at: https://www.mweb.co.za/internet-connection/fibre/fibre-to-the-home

The advertisement promotes free wi-fi access at hotspots around the country. 

COMPLAINT

The Complainant submitted that the advertisement was misleading as he was advised by the Respondent’s customer care representative that the free wifi was discontinued in September 2017

RELEVANT CLAUSES OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE

In light of the complaint Clause 4.2.1 of Section II of the Code (Misleading claims) was considered relevant.  

RESPONSE

The Respondent submitted that due to discontinuation of the Wi-Fi product which enabled its subscribers to access the Wi-Fi for free at certain hotspots, it reviewed and amended its marketing material to ensure reference to that product was removed. As a result of human error, the material referred in the complaint was not identified and amended. The Respondent has deleted references to free Wi-Fi after receiving the complaint. 

The Respondent submitted further that it has taken steps to ensure that the type of error does not occur again.
  

ASA DIRECTORATE RULING

The ASA Directorate considered the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.

The ASA has a long-standing principle which holds that where an advertiser provides an unequivocal undertaking to remove or amend its advertising in a manner that addresses the Complainant’s concerns, that undertaking may, at the discretion of the ASA, be accepted without considering the merits of the matter.

The Respondent submitted that it has amended its marketing material to remove references to free Wi-Fi as it discontinued offering this product. This action addresses the concerned raised by the Complainant. The Directorate visited the Respondent’s website and confirmed that the claim has been removed.  

Given the above, the Directorate accepts the Respondent’s submissions as an undertaking. The undertaking is accepted on condition the advertisement is not used again in the format complained against.

  

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