Is this Etisalat 500MB bonus data offer a scam?

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A subscriber has narrated how he took up an Etisalat 500MB bonus data offer from the operator and was left with a bad taste in the mouth. We reproduce below his story of how what he got was not what he was expecting:

Is this a marketing tactic or plain fraud?

Usually I buy 1.5GB @ #1200 for data from my service provider. This serves me for a month usually.

Then I got this SMS from them saying I could get 500MB bonus if I opted for a promo for 1GB @#1000 at that moment by pressing a certain code. After pressing the code, I got a message that I have been credited with 1GB and 500MB will be available if I am able to buy another 1 GB within 30 days!!

It’s like “won ti gba mi abi”?

That last line translated from Yoruba, says, “It looks like I have been scammed; right?”

We investigated this matter and had a chat with the aggrieved subscriber.

The Etisalat 500MB Bonus Data Offer

Here is the SMS from Etisalat that introduced him to the bonus data offer:

Your line has been recharged with 1500.00 Naira via E-Top Up. Your main balance is 1300.38 Naira. Get FREE 500MB when you buy 1GB data, dial *229*2*7#. Unlock FREE 500MB when you buy another 1GB & above within 30 days

The marketing section of that SMS from Etisalat (that is the section in bold text) is badly worded and communicates the wrong message. Etisalat’s poor communication made it sound like you get 500MB free when you buy 1GB data, and then get another 500MB free when you buy another 1GB data or more.

But what the operator clearly means to communicate is that you buy 1 GB of data, dial a code to activate the new privilege so that you get 500MB of data free each time you subsequently buy 1 GB of data or more.

This is how the marketing line in that message should read:

Buy 1GB data, dial *229*2*7#, then unlock FREE 500MB when you buy another 1GB & above within 30days

See the difference?

I would be aggrieved too if I had taken up the Etisalat 500MB bonus data offer and gotten the results the complainant got. Yes; it makes it sounds like a scam. Etisalat needs to change that message right away, if they haven’t done so already. Some compensation for the complainant would be in order too.

This is an example of how poor communications can do damage. If interested, you can read the complainant’s story on his Facebook page RIGHT HERE.


  1. So Unfair… They all do these things, it’s surely a marketing tactic directly to us because they see us as misinformed and ignorant!

    I’ve experienced the same with Airtel. Well, thanks for the information.

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