Mobifone "trick' outrages customers

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Numerous prepaid customers of MobiFone are complaining that the major mobile network operator has cheated them with its latest sales promotion program.

They told Thanh Nien a couple of days ago they received text messages from MobiFone saying that if they topped up their credit with over VND200,000 (US$10.5) between April 15-17 (Thursday to Saturday), they would receive credit worth 170 percent of the refilled amount.

However, they only got an additional 50 percent.

Nguyen Le Hung, owner of a mobile phone retail store in Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Phu District, said he refilled credit for hundreds of customers on Thursday, but all of them got an additional 50 percent of the topped-up credit instead of the promised 170 percent.

Hung then called the operator's switchboard many times, but received unclear explanations from agents., he said

"Many other retail stores faced the same situation as I did; receiving complaints from our customers because of MobiFone's fraudulent sales promotion trick," he said.

Duc Nguyen, who also lives in HCMC, said he and his roommates received the same messages and got the same additional credit as others, so he checked MobiFone's website and found that the sales promotion was only applicable to the operator's Ket noi dai lau (Long connection) program which was founded in 2006.

"But one of my friends who satisfied the conditions also received only 50 percent," Nguyen said.

Le Viet Dung from the southern province of Dong Nai said he faced the same situation and now his SIM card had been locked after he tried to call MobiFone's hotline number a couple of times to get clarifications.

"If MobiFone doesn't deal with this properly, I'll sue it," Dung said.

Dinh Viet Hung, a MobiFone representative, told Thanh Nien that the sales promotion only targeted members of the Ket noi dai lau program and that eligible customers would receive 50 percent of refilled credit first and another 120 percent within the next 24 hours.

This step aimed to prevent the prepaid subscriber management system from being overloaded with refilling demands, Hung said.

Asked about confusing information in the operators' text messages, MobiFone attributed it to the limits on characters used in messages.

"At Thursday noon MobiFone sent messages to customers clarifying details of the program," Hung said.

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