Skip to content
The article is more than 8 years old

Consumer agency eyes continuous sales by cell phone operators

Several mobile phone operators feature ongoing sales, offering  discounts on what they describe as normally-priced cell phone plans. The Competition and Consumer Authority (KKV) is looking into whether some of those sales are legal, because if the standard price isn't offered, they wonder, how can it qualify as a 'sale?'

Various offers from mobile operators DNA, Sonera and Saunalahti/Elisa.
Websites of cellular carrier discounts. Image: Yle

Competition in the Finnish mobile phone service sector is fierce, and companies use a variety of tactics to attract and retain customers. Operators often offer discounts, sales or other markdowns as a way of enticing customers to switch operators or to get them to remain loyal customers.

KKV lawyer Miina Ojajärvi, said that the the problem is that a continuous sale is misleading marketing.

"The problem has been noted," Ojajärvi said, "and we follow the cell phone carriers' marketing full-time."

According to the law, companies are not allowed to say that an offer is available for a 'limited time' if it is not actually so.

Consumers should be careful

"If the product is 'on sale,' year after year then it's not actually limited," Ojajärvi said.

In some cases these kinds of continuous sales are easy to notice, Ojajärvi said. A sofa, for example, can’t be sold at a ‘sale price’ year after year.

But determining the standard prices of cellular phone plans is trickier, because operator plans and the names of plans change frequently, she said.

"Consumers should be careful. There's no point in comparing an offered price to the operator's own 'regular' price,'" Ojajärvi said.

Sources: Yle

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia