MTN pays N1.85m to alleged short-changed promo winner

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The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) on Wednesday said MTN had complied with its directive to pay N1.85 million to an allegedly short-changed promo winner, Mr Omeje Fidelis.

This is contained in a statement by the Deputy Director of Public Affairs of CPC, Mr Abiodun Obimuyiwa, in Abuja.

The payment was made following a directive by the council on Feb. 10 that MTN Nigeria Communications Limited should pay Fidelis N1.85 million within 14 days, the statement said.

It said the payment was the balance of the aggrieved customer’s winning in the promotion held in 2012 which the telecommunications company failed to pay.

“MTN raised a United Bank of Africa’s draft in the said sum in favour of the complainant on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 barely 24 hours after its receipt of the agency’s order.

“ Fidelis, in a telephone conversation, confirmed to CPC his receipt of the amount, disclosing that he received the cheque for the balance of his N2 million prize on Feb. 15, 2016.”

The statement said that CPC also received receipt of a settlement agreement made to that effect between the parties in the matter.

According to the statement, MTN’s decision to pay the complainant is in consideration of CPC’s directive and MTN’s concern over the negative implications of the complainant’s claims.

It said CPC gave the instruction because of alleged lack of due diligence displayed in the verification of the winners of the N2 million category of the sales promotion.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that Fidelis filed a complaint against the telecommunications giant that he was underpaid after he was declared winner of N2 million in the sales promotion.

Fidelis said he was called that he had won N2 million in the promo and was also invited to the presentation ceremony, which was done on Oct. 19, 2012 at the Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja.

Fidelis said that during the ceremony, he was presented with a dummy cheque of N2 million with his name on it, interviewed and paraded as a winner of the amount.

He said he was stunned to receive another call from MTN line 180 after the much publicised dummy presentation ceremony that his winning was N150,000.

He said the MTN, thereafter, gave him a Verve ATM card for that amount.

“MTN, in its response to the council’s intervention, denied the claim, saying that Fidelis was informed from the beginning of its communication that his winning was N150,000.

“MTN said the complainant deceitfully presented himself when winners in the N2 million category were called forward on the day of the prize presentation.

“Fidelis’ antics were discovered at the verification of winners, which was done after the ceremony and he was thereafter contacted on his misrepresentation, over which he apologised.

NAN further recalled that CPC, in order to determine the claim of the telecommunication firm, demanded for the call data of the communications between both parties but MTN was unable to produce them.

The Director-General of CPC, Mrs Dupe Atoki, while reacting to the development, welcomed the prompt compliance by MTN.

Atoki said “this underscores the supremacy of the consumer in the market-place”.

She charged business operator to exhibit best practices that would engender value for money for consumers.

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