MTN sued over alleged deceitful message


Ghana’s number one telecommunications provider, MTN has been sued by a customer over what he says are deceitful messages sent to him by the service provider.

The text message sent to him by MTN indicated that he was to be declared winner of ‘Dream Big Xtreme Promotion’ when it had already ended.

The plaintiff, Francis Aseidu Agyemfra is seeking GHȻ300,000 in damages the deceitful message sent.

In his statement of claim, he stated that the deceitful text message sent by MTN, which convinced him to participate in the promotion, caused him “mental and psychological distress, loss of time and money and injury to his feeling s and dignity.”

MTN in December 2012 introduced the ‘MTN Dream Big Xtreme Promotion’, in which subscribers were invited to participate by answering certain questions which will give them the opportunity to win GHÈ»150,000.

Customers who participate in the promotion are expected to bear the cost of the each text message they send.

The statement said “in a bid to entice him to participate in the promotion, sent Mr Agyemfra a message which indicated that his number was among those shortlisted to win the bounty  and that all he had to do was send “Ok” to the short code “2020” in order to win.

“The plaintiff then obliged and participated in the promotion until April 8, 2013, when he received another message from the service provider that “Hey, we already have your number in case we need to declare you as the winner of the grand prize of GHÈ»150,000, so send MONEY to 2020”, it continued.

After replying that text message, the plaintiff received a response from MTN which said “Thank you for participating in MTN Dream Big Xtreme. Please note that the promotion ended on April 7, 2014!  For winners’ list kindly visit mtn.com.gh.

When the plaintiff subsequently wrote a letter to the service providerin protest of its deceitful conduct, he was refunded GHȻ3.75 as the cost incurred by him and promised to credit him with GHȻ100.00 airtime for the inconvenience caused.

The plaintiff considers the crediting of the GHÈ»100.00 by the defendant as woefully inadequate for the damage he suffered as a result of the attendant’s conduct.

But MTN in its defence contended that it was a very reputable company with over 12.289,991 subscribers and accounting for over 50 percent market share of the telecommunications industry and was in no way exploiting customers.

It maintained that Mr Agyemfra ought to have known that the promotion had ended on April 7, 2013 and that any text message that was sent to him regarding the promotion could have only been sent to him by mistake.

The court is yet to set a date for the hearing.

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