MTN pays N1.85m to subscriber over promo fraud
Following an order issued last week by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) directing MTN Nigeria Communications Limited to, within 14 days, pay a complainant, Mr. Omeje Fidelis N1.85m being the balance of his winning in the promotion held in 2012, the telecommunication giant has effected the payment to the aggrieved consumer.
The CPC said in a statement issued on Wednesday that MTN, in compliance with the order, raised a United Bank of Africa's draft in the said sum in favour of the complainant on February 11, 2016.
The statement stated that Fidelis, in a telephone conversation, confirmed to the CPC his receipt of the amount, disclosing that he received the cheque for the balance of his N2m prize on Monday, February 15, 2016.
It said, 'CPC is also in receipt of a settlement agreement made to that effect between Omeje, MTN and its event manager for the Ultimate Wonder Promo prize presentation, Towncriers Limited, authorising the event manager to issue a bank draft in the sum of N1.85m in full and final satisfaction of the CPC's Order and all claims to the complainant.'
Reacting to the development, CPC's Director General, Mrs. Dupe Atoki, while welcoming the prompt compliance by MTN, said this underscores the supremacy of the consumer in the market-place.
She urged businesses to exhibit best practices that will engender value for money for consumers.
The CPC had last week Wednesday directed MTN Communications Limited to pay within 14 days the sum of N1.85m to one of the winners of its Ultimate Wonder Promo for lack of due diligence.
Fidelis had claimed that he had been underpaid after he was declared winner of N2m in the said sales promotion, which was held in 2012.
According to him, he participated in the promo and was called through MTN line 180 on October 10, 2012 that he had won N2m in the Ultimate Wonder Promo and that on October 12 of the same year he got a text message informing him of the presentation ceremony fixed for October 19 at the Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja.
The complainant had claimed that during the said ceremony, he was presented with a dummy cheque of N2m with his name on it, interviewed and paraded before the media and the world as a winner of the said amount.
He recounted further that he was stunned to receive another call from MTN line 180 on November 2, 2012 that his winning was N150,000 and was thereafter given a Verve ATM card for that amount.
MTN, in its response to the Council's intervention, denied the claim of Omeje, saying that he was from the on-set informed that his winning was N150,000 and that the complainant deceitfully presented himself when winners in the N2m category were called forward on the day of the prize presentation.
The company had stated further that Omeje's antics was discovered at the verification of winners, which was done after the ceremony and he was thereafter contacted through its 180 line on his misrepresentation pursuant to which he apologised.
As a result of the development, the CPC in a statement said it demanded for the call data of the communications of the 10th of October 2012 when Omeje was informed of his winnings of N150,000, but MTN failed.
The statement signed by the CPC Spokesman, Mr Abiodun Obimuyiwa revealed that the company refused and neglected to comply with the request made both in 2012 and 2016.
It said, 'The CPC, in its Orders, frowned at the consistent refusal of MTN to provide the call data records evidencing details of communication with the complainant, declaring that in the absence of this material evidence which is solely in the possession of the respondent the CPC must resolve the issue in favour of the complainant.'
'The process of the MTN Ultimate Wonder Promotion whereby the verification exercise was conducted after winners were identified, declared and winnings presented publicly is grossly flawed, lacking in transparency, inequitable and apparently calculated to deceive consumers.'
'The CPC, on the strength of these observations, therefore directed MTN to pay within 14 days of receipt of Order, the sum of N1,850,000 being the unpaid part of the N2m prize won by the complainant in the 2012 MTN Ultimate Wonder Promotion'. Agency report