TeliaSonera’s fixed-term contracts are marketed without informing the consumer of what their total cost will be.
TeliaSonera Finland Oyj has been marketing mobile phone and broadband contracts, TV channel packages and the entertainment service required to watch the channels through, among others, Internet advertising and outdoor advertisements at bus stops.
Consumers are offered a fixed-term contract for a term which varies between six months and two years, depending on the service and offer chosen.
In the ads, the length of the contract and the price for one monthly payment are shown in an attention-attracting way. TeliaSonera does not, however, mention the total price for the services, i.e. the total cost for the consumer for the whole duration of the contract, in the same advertisement or in a way which attracts an equal amount of attention.
Marketing of this kind is illegal. Under the Consumer Protection Act, the total price must always be mentioned when marketing a specific consumer product. In addition, the marketing must contain enough unambiguous information to help the consumer compare products and make a purchase decision. This requirement is not met if the total price is hidden in the background of the advertisement or behind a link.
The Consumer Ombudsman has repeatedly urged TeliaSonera to correct these faults. Since TeliaSonera has not changed its marketing, the Consumer Ombudsman has imposed a marketing ban reinforced by a conditional fine of 100 000 euros on the company.