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Telewest escapes ad slap

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Updated Telewest has been cleared of producing misleading advertising after it claimed that its broadband service was ten times faster than its dial-up service.

Four people complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) questioning the accuracy of an ad which boasted its broadband service was "Nearly 10 times faster than your current dial-up service".

Telewest dismissed the concerns saying that most of its punters were happy with the service. It supplied data which it said showed that between January 2001 and March 2001its service was "on average 11.1 times faster than the average throughput speed available with dial-up ISPs."

The broadband cable provider argued that if some people weren't getting the performance they expected, the fault lay with the customer and not with its service.

Telewest even offered to send round an engineer to examine each of the complainants' equipment. The ASA notes that none of the complainants accepted the offer.

Dismissing the complaint against Telewest, the ASA said: "The advertisers explained that, because high-speed, always-on, Internet services were usually targeted at experienced and frequent users of the Internet, those users were often highly critical of IT services and applications."

However, whinging to the ASA does at least prompt some companies to take performance problems seriously - seriously enough, it seems, to dispatch an engineer. Who knows, it might even prompt those hacked off with BTopenwoe to take similar action. ®

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