Cell C has emerged victorious in a complaint at the Advertising Standards Authority in a ruling that allows the country’s third largest mobile operator to continue to state in its marketing campaigns that it has the “most affordable rate to any network, any place, any time”.
A consumer, JJ Liebenberg, had lodged a complaint against Cell C’s “99c for Real” prepaid package, claiming that Telkom Mobile’s prepaid Sim-Sonke 75c/minute flat rate to any network was substantially cheaper. Liebenberg felt Cell C’s claim was untrue and misleading.
The advertising authority decided not to act against Cell C in a ruling handed down on 1 November. However, just four days before this ruling, on 28 October, Telkom Mobile announced that it had extended its Sim-Sonke prepaid plan to roaming partner MTN’s network, meaning subscribers could use the aggressively priced plans anywhere in South Africa that either network has coverage.
The authority does not appear to have taken Telkom Mobile’s announcement into account in its ruling.
It found that comparing Cell C’s “generally available” product to Telkom’s “apparently limited” Sim-Sonke product is not akin to comparing “apples with apples” and it therefore has no reason to rule against Liebenberg’s claim.
Cell C submitted independent opinion from a company called Econex, which concluded: “When one looks at the packages of the other network operators as a whole as well as Cell C’s 99c offer, the claim made by Cell C … is therefore correct.” — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media