Claro readjusts its credit validity periods after FTC intervention

During the FTC’s investigation into Claro’s policy change regarding call credit validity periods, Claro readjusted those periods to allow for unused call credits to last for a longer duration.

In April 2010, Claro reduced the validity periods for all denominations of its call credit. For example, the validity period of a $100 credit was reduced from 30 days to 7 days. This means that instead of having up to 30 days to use this credit, a subscriber would have to use it within 7 days. Following from several complaints from consumers claiming that their credit ‘disappeared’ even though they have not reached the expiry date, the FTC commenced an investigation, under section 37 of the FCA to determine (i) whether Claro had changed its validity periods; (ii) and if it had whether sufficient notice was given to alert subscribers of the change in validity periods; and (iii) whether the policy change applied to subscribers with unused credit.

Section 37 of the FCA addresses misleading advertising; and makes the omission of material information an offence. Subsequent to a series of meetings between Claro’s representatives and the Staff of the FTC, Claro reverted to the original validity periods for its call credit, and in some cases offers a longer period than originally offered. Claro also committed, upon condition, to giving each of its customers $100 bonus credit monthly for a period of one year.

The FTC is satisfied with Claro’s action in this regard, and therefore has closed the investigation without any further action. Consumers are reminded to be extremely vigilant, particularly regarding the terms and conditions under which they purchase products.

CONTACT: David Miller, Executive Director
52 Grenada Crescent
Kingston 5.
Tel: (876) 960-0120-4
Fax: (876) 960-0763