iLocal News Archives

The Editor Speaks: Conditions apply

The Editor Speaks: Conditions apply

Have you noticed that every special offer that is thrown at us by companies has the words “conditions apply”?

With the ads on the airwaves, especially the telecommunication companies, you get a voice, almost out of breath as he or she rushes to get all the great offers announced within the limited time slot, with the “conditions apply” add on at the end.

The above is accompanied by the most atrocious and noise shattering music, especially at the beginning, placed in to attract our attention.

With the telecommunication ads you don’t know what these applied conditions are. And if you are naïve enough to go ahead and take the amazing offer without asking what they are, or reading the small print at the bottom of the paper you have to sign that requires a magnifying glass (not supplied), you will most likely get a nasty shock.

You see, no matter how good the special offer appears it is always watered down by the “conditions apply”.

At long last the Cayman Islands Information & Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) has established Truth In Advertising Guidelines (TAG) in an effort to assist its licensees with their marketing activities and help consumers understand better what they should expect and accept as truth in the messages they read, see and hear from their ICT providers. See our story in yesterday’s iNews Cayman “Cayman Islands Communications Authority establishes truth in advertising guidelines for consumers and customers” at:

“The key is to be as open and transparent as possible,” said Alee Fa’amoe, ICTA Managing Director.

“There should be no omitting or hiding of material information that a consumer needs in order to make an informed decision in relation to the purchase or continued use of an ICT service. Consumers have a right to receive clear, intelligible, unambiguous, timely information, and the ICTA is committed to helping licensees meet their obligations to their customers and increasing consumer satisfaction.”

Fa’amoe said that licensees should clearly state any significant factors that might limit the availability of an ICT service in certain areas of the island. In the case of mobile network providers, those factors include the type of handset being used, a caller’s proximity to a mobile cell-site tower or the volume of calls and data sessions being made by other callers using the same mobile cell-site.

That’s fine but I noticed the word “should” instead of “MUST”. There was no word of any penalties to the companies who do not adhere to the guidelines.

There is nothing in the ICTA release about the “conditions apply” so it is still a case of “buyer beware”.

I am afraid we have all been so conditioned to this form of advertising most of us don’t care at all.

Most of us don’t care what the conditions applied are. We take it at their word. And like a hungry wolf. We are devoured.

Note: No conditions have been applied to this Editorial. You can take it as its face value. And you know what that’s worth.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *