Feeds

BT's 'six-month free broadband' offer is a big fat FIB - ads watchdog

Misleading advert banned in second ruling of 2013

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

BT misled customers by wrongly claiming that one of its broadband products was "free for six months", says Blighty's ad watchdog. This is the second time this year the national telco has been scolded by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The offending press advert boasted that "the UK's most complete broadband package" would be "free for six months", with text underneath that stated: "Then just £13 a month, plus your line rental at £14.60 a month."

However, the small print at the bottom of the ad read: "Offer ends 10/01/13. For new BT broadband customers only that sign up for an 18 month minimum term and pay BT line rental of £14.60 a month (rising to £15.45 on 05/01/13)." BT's telly ad carried similar claims for the same offer.

Two complainants challenged the telecoms giant's "free for six months" claim for being misleading because a line rental charge would be applied to the product - making it anything but free.

The ASA upheld those complaints and banned the ads from appearing again in that form.

BT admitted that its press and TV campaign could have been clearer, but it insisted the ambiguity was due to an "unintended consequence" of its "attempts to comply with a recent ASA adjudication, relating to another telecoms provider, regarding the prominence of line rental" - in other words, BT drew up the ad after an unnamed rival was rapped over line rental costs, but still managed to fall foul of the watchdog's code of conduct.

"We told BT [to make] clear the extent of the commitment consumers must make to take advantage of 'free' offers in future," the ASA stated.

Just last week, the national telco was lambasted by the watchdog, which found that BT had "misled" customers on when its broadband products would be available in their areas. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.