The ASA Directorate considered the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.
Clause 4.2.1 of Section II of the Code states, inter alia, that advertising should not contain any statement or visual presentation, which, directly or by implication, omission, ambiguity, inaccuracy, exaggerated claim or otherwise, is likely to mislead the consumer.
The Complainant submitted that the Respondent call rate is currently at R1,20 per minute as opposed to the advertised call rate of 79c per minute. The Respondent on the other hand submitted that the Complainant is correct that the cost of 79c per minute no longer applies. However, it argued that a message to this effect was distributed to existing Pay Per Second customers informing them of a small increase to R0,99 per minute. It refuted the contention that the call rate is currently at R1,20 per minute.
The Respondent submitted that the relevant pages where the details of this offer were updated to provide accurate pricing information. The pages in which the Complainant objected to have been amended to indicate the correct price of 99c.
From the material at hand, it appears that the 79c per minute offer was valid until 23 March 2018. There is nothing before the Directorate to show that any customer was charged R1,20 per minute or that the 79c offer was ever unavailable.
In addition, the advertising has now been updated to reflect the 99c pricing.
The Complainant also submitted that it is impossible to sign up for the "MTN Pay Per Second” on MTN Prepaid. The Respondent submitted that this was incorrect but undertook to revert with more information, which it never did.
The Directorate therefore turned to the Respondent’s terms and conditions, which state:
The MTN Pay Per Second Price Plan is available to the following customers:
3.1.1. Existing MTN PayAsYouGo customers; on the Per Second Price plan (the "Customers”).
3.2. The MTN Pay Per Second Price Plan is not available to MTN Contract or My MTNChoice customers.
It also states:
5.1. New MTN PayAsYouGo customers shall default on the MTN Pay Per Second Price Plan.
5.2. Customers may also join the MTN Pay Per Second Price Plan by migrating into the price plan. Customers may migrate by dialing the USSD *136*4*4#.
It would also appear, from navigating the Respondent’s website, that "Prepaid” and "PayAsYouGo” are the same thing.
It therefore appears that the Pay Per Second plan is not only available to Prepaid customers, but is the default plan.
Accordingly, the advertising does not appear be misleading in the manner suggested by the Complainant, and therefore does not contravene Clause 4.2.1 of Section II and Clause 19 of Section II of the Code.
The complaint is dismissed.