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Slingshot warned by Commerce Commission for misleading customers

The Commerce Commission have warned telecommunications company Slingshot for misleading consumers after offering them a 10% discount for bundled broadband and electricity services but failed to make clear it would only be if they paid on time.

Callplus Services Limited, trading as Slingshot, offered the deal to consumers between July 2017 and May 2018.

Customers were offered a 10% discount for bundled broadband and electricity services from Slingshot but the company did not provide accurate disclosure on the conditions until the consumer had nearly signed up on the deal.

Competition and Consumer General Manager Antonia Horrocks says promotional offers and advertising of discounts that can confuse and, at times, mislead consumers are concerning for the commission.

“In this case, Slingshot provided information that disclosed the true conditions of the promotion but only once a consumer had nearly completed the online sign-up process. In the commission’s view, Slingshot’s late disclosure of a key condition did not remedy the initial misleading representation that was made to consumers at large,” says Ms Horrocks.

She said that it was vital that businesses were clear and accurate in their representation of offers made when marketing their products.

"Misleading representations about prices and discounts not only obstruct consumers from properly assessing the total cost of the service but can also unfairly attract them away from businesses who advertise their prices clearly," she said.

Slingshot responded to the commission’s inquiries by amending its website to clearly reflect that bundling and prompt payment were required to receive the 10% discount.

Source: istock.com