Feeds

TalkTalk ads banned by watchdog over 'misleading' YouView offer

When free ain't 'free' cos there's a 50 quid fee

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Budget ISP TalkTalk has been warned to be careful with how its uses the term "free" in the future, after the telco was found by the ads watchdog to have "misled" customers over claims it had made about one of its promotional deals.

The company had run a TV commercial and sent out a direct mailing late last year for a broadband, television and phone package that it said came with a "free YouView box", even though an installation fee of £50 had been applied to the promotion.

The Advertising Standards Authority agreed with a complainant who challenged TalkTalk's claim that its offer included a "free" YouView box.

TalkTalk disputed that it had misled consumers and argued that it had simply followed "standard industry practice" by charging an installation fee for a "free" set top box.

The ads regulator said:

We ... acknowledged TalkTalk's comment that the engineer installation charge was a genuine cost solely in relation to the activation of the YouView box and it had not been inflated to recover the cost of the free YouView box.

However, we noted that when a consumer unbundled the YouView box from the telecoms subscription, they effectively paid £50 less, this being the cost of the installation fee.

We agreed that one-off, up-front costs, for example to buy equipment necessary to use a free item or for a connection fee payable to a third party, would not negate claims that a product or service was "free".

However, we considered in this situation, because the fee was payable to TalkTalk and not a third party, that situation did not apply.

The ASA added that even subscribers who wanted to connect the box themselves would still be charged a £50 installation fee. "We therefore considered that because the YouView box and the £50 fee were inextricably linked, the claims that the box was 'free' were misleading," it concluded.

TalkTalk was warned by the watchdog to consider use of the word "free" more carefully in its future ad campaigns. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.