Thu, Mar 18, 2010 - Page 2 News List

FTC fines Chinatrust for ‘false’ advertisements

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) yesterday fined Chinatrust Commercial Bank for false advertising regarding its claims about credit card bonus points.

The FTC said that Chinatrust’s advertisements for its platinum credit cards claimed that customers using the credit card would receive bonus points, which could be redeemed for a complimentary upgrade to business class on the High Speed Rail every day. The advertisements appeared in print, outdoor advertising and television commercials.

The commission said that in its advertisements, Chinatrust failed to mention that there is a limit of between two and 20 seats reserved for banks to participate in the promotional activity.

By failing to fully disclose the seat limitations and other conditions a customer must meet to receive a free upgrade, Chinatrust may mislead customers into ­thinking that as long as customers had enough bonus points, they would be able to receive a free upgrade, commission Vice Chairwoman Shih Hui-fen (施惠芬) said.

The commission ordered Chinatrust to immediately remove the misleading information from its advertisements and fined the company NT$500,000 for violation of the Fair Trade Act (公平交易法).

Chinatrust said in a statement that because the availability of upgradeable seats varies from day to day, there would be no way for Chinatrust to guarantee availability ahead of time.

Upon purchasing the ticket, customers would be informed whether they would be able to use their bonus points for an upgrade, so customers would not be making a misinformed purchase, Chinatrust said.

However, the company also said that it would comply with the FTC’s requirements and make the necessary revisions to all its advertisements.

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