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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Telco fined for cheating users

(Shanghai Daily)

13:28, December 06, 2011

A China Mobile branch in Changsha, Hunan Province, was fined 150,000 yuan (US$23,700) for cheating consumers with misleading pricing packages, the provincial pricing authority said yesterday.

The branch was fined for misleading users about discounts the telco was offering on phone calls.

The telco was also ordered to refund consumers who signed up for the package.

The authority said the world's biggest phone company by subscribers misled users by blurring the definition of the areas where consumers can enjoy discounts. It advertised cheaper packages of 0.20 yuan (3 US cents) per minute on calls made in "areas offering discounts" and 0.28 yuan per minute in "areas with no discounts."

According to the application made to the pricing authority? only calls made from rural areas in Changsha, the provincial capital, were able to enjoy the discounts.

However, in its marketing campaign, China Mobile gave consumers the impression that calls made from every corner of Changsha was charged at 0.20 yuan per minute only. But the telco charged consumers 0.28 yuan per minute, and it failed to explain to the consumers, the authority said.

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