The order of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) came on the heels of a complaint brought by Mr Omeje Fidelis against the mobile telecommunications giant that he had been underpaid after he was declared winner of two million Naira in the said sales promotion held in 2012.
According to Omeje, he participated in the promo and was called through MTN line 180 on October 10, 2012, that he had won two million Naira 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 in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The complainant asserted that during the said ceremony, he was presented with a dummy cheque of two million Naira with his name on it while he was interviewed as well as 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 150,000 Naira and was thereafter, given a Verve ATM card for that amount.
In its response to the Council’s intervention, MTN denied the claim of Omeje, saying that he was from the on-set informed that his winning was 150,000 Naira and that the complainant deceitfully presented himself when winners in the two million Naira category were called forward on the day of the prize presentation.
The company stated further that Omeje’s antics were 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.
But the CPC demanded for the call data of the communications of October 10, 2012, when Omeje was informed of his winnings of 150,000 Naira but MTN failed, refused and neglected to comply with the request made both in 2012 and 2016.
In its orders, the Council 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”.
It further declared that “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, directed the MTN to pay within 14 days of receipt of its order, the sum of 1,850,000 Naira “Being the unpaid part of the two million Naira prize won by the complainant in the 2012 MTN Ultimate Wonder Promotion”.
Commenting on the issue, the Council’s Director General, Mrs Dupe Atoki, reaffirmed the obligation of businesses to desist from promos that are not honest, transparent, equitable and faithful or designed to deceive consumers.