Telenor Pakistan got a show cause notice from CCP for deceptive marketing
Telenor got a Show Cause Notice for prima facie violating Section 10 of the Competition Act 2010 from Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) Pakistan by deceivingly marketing the price and geographical accessibility of its 4G services.
CCP has issued this notice as ZONG Pakistan sent a formal complaint in opposition to Telenor saying that 4G marketing campaign by the telecom company was wrongly declaring that “Telenor 4G services absolutely free” and that “4G services available across Pakistan.”
According to Zong, Telenor was not only misleading consumers and creating ambiguous situation but also damaging the business interest of its competitors. This misconception is spoiling the market share.
According to CCP’s inquiry report, claim of providing “Telenor 4G services absolutely free” was not hundred percent true as Telenor was only offering the first 100 MBs of data free of charge. After the usage of 100 MBs of data customers have to pay for any additional usage.
While talking about the Telenor’s claim of “Nationwide Availability/Across Pakistan,” the enquiry report stated that was giving a broad notion, although wrongly by saying that 4G services were available across Pakistan.
Furthermore the list of 7 cities specified in the disclaimer, i.e., “Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Multan, Quetta, Faisalabad,” where 4G services were offered was also deceptive as 4G service was only accessible at select areas in these cities.
In nutshell, inquiry report concluded that the Telenor’s marketing campaign about 4G services and free data usage was misleading and prima facie violated Section 10 of the Competition Act.
In addition, the hard to decipher and unreadable disclaimers at the end of advertisements were inadequate and could barely clarify the above-stated claim to consumers. Now a Show Cause Notice has been given out to Telenor Pakistan as suggested in the inquiry report.