NTL hit by ad watchdog ruling

Take that, and that, and that

The advertising watchdog has dismissed complaints concerning NTL's boast that its broadband service offers "unlimited surfing" even though it has imposed a cap.

As reported last week by The Register, the Advertising Watchdog Authority (ASA) agreed with the cableco that "because residential users enjoyed 24 hours a day, seven days a week broadband access and they were able to download 1Gb of data in a day without their access being halted and without being charged extra, [NTL was] justified in advertising that [its] fixed-monthly-fee broadband access offered unlimited Internet usage.

However, NTL wasn't so lucky with a second complaint that questioned its claim: "High Speed Broadband Internet only £14.99 a month From the UK's No.1 Broadband Internet provider...".

That complaint came from monster ISP Freeserve which argued that users of NTL's 128 kbps product should not be counted as broadband customers, and thus challenged the claim that NTL was "the UK's No.1 Broadband Internet provider".

NTL argued that when you include all 128 kbps punters along with it higher-speed customers (that's more than half according to internal figures seen by El Reg, by the way), then it did have more residential broadband customers than other ISPs in the UK.

However, the ASA disagreed claiming that the statement - "the UK's No.1 Broadband Internet provider" - without qualification, was likely to mislead.

Elsewhere in the tit-for-tat world of broadband, BT complained about Telewest's claim that its broadband service was "easier to install than BT". The Telewest copy went on: "When it comes to installation, we'll send an engineer round to install it for you. (BT leave you to figure out the installation process for yourself and they charge you a lot more.)"

BT denied that its BT Broadband service was "difficult to install". It also got the hump that it "charged a lot more for installation".

The ASA upheld the first complaint but threw out the other. ®

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