The Biggest & Best Portal to the Professional Property, Workplace and Built Environment Community

Sunday, 25 February

No More Pulling the Wool - Ad Standards Clamp Down on Broadband

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have confirmed a strengthening approach to advertised fixed broadband price claims to avoid customers being misled. The new approach will come into force on 31 October 2016.

In January, the ASA published joint research with Ofcom which found that the current approach to presenting pricing in fixed broadband ads is likely to confuse and mislead consumers about the cost of broadband services. Though this may not be the case for commercial operations, many will allow home workers to negotiate their own deals and simply cover the costs via expenses claims.

The research tested consumers’ likely understanding of the presentation of pricing offers in current broadband ads including line rental. Participants found it difficult to calculate the true cost of a contract when presented with these ads where the different elements - broadband, introductory offer, line rental, contract length and one-off costs - were presented separately and some elements given greater prominence than others.

Only 23% of participants could correctly identify the total cost per month after the first viewing of the ad. 22% of participants were still not able to identify correctly the total cost per month even after a second viewing of the ad. 81% of participants were unable to calculate correctly the total cost of a broadband contract when asked to do so.

From 31 October 2016, this kind of broadband advertising is likely to break advertising rules.

 

Recommendations

In order for broadband providers to ensure they stay within the rules, the ASA recommends that future broadband ads which include price claims should:

  • Show all-inclusive up-front and monthly costs; no more separating out line rental.

  • Give greater prominence for the contract length and any post-discount pricing.

  • Give greater prominence for up-front costs.

Commenting on the announcement, Chief Executive of the ASA, Guy Parker, said: “We recognise the importance of broadband services to people's lives at work and at home. The findings of our research and other factors we took into account, showed the way prices have been presented in broadband ads is likely to confuse and mislead customers. This new tougher approach has been developed to make sure consumers are not misled and get the information they need to make well-informed choices.”

Picture: A typical home worker is confused by broadband advertising

Article written by Robin Snow

Share



Related Articles

Gov to Conquer GoT Nightmare

The government’s £400 million Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund (DIIF) is set to unlock over £1 billion for full fibre broadband and kick-start...

 Read Full Article
Square Mile To Get World-class Wireless Network

Residents, employees and visitors to the City of London will be able to use a new 'world-class' wireless network this year as proposals to expand free Wi-Fi and...

 Read Full Article
You Don't Get If You Don't Ask

A national organisation which has campaigned for better broadband for rural businesses is itself now benefitting from faster fibre technology, thanks to the Superfast...

 Read Full Article
Fast and the Furious - BT Must Improve Broadband Speeds

BT must open up its network so competitors can connect fibre to homes and offices and it must reform Openreach to serve UK consumers and businesses better, says...

 Read Full Article
Levy to Pay for Broadband in Remote Areas on Cards

According to a BBC report, the government may be forced to introduce a levy to meet its target for superfast broadband use in rural areas. The target by the government...

 Read Full Article
Broadband Broader in Bucharest

In a report published this week by the House of Lords Select Committee on Digital Skills, it was revealed that London had far slower broadband speeds than Bucharest,...

 Read Full Article
Global Smart Cities - London Ranked 17

Copenhagen, Denmark is the smartest city, with a thriving business ecosystem, high proliferation of smart parking and forward thinking urban development, says a recent...

 Read Full Article
How To Tackle The High Costs Of Wasted Workspace

The spiralling cost of wasted time in meetings is a hot topic according to industry expert Luis De Souza of international software business NFS Technology Group. He...

 Read Full Article
Not Feeling Social? Program Spots The Signs

A computer program has been developed that is able to correctly identify depressed individuals from their social media photos 70% of the time, according to a study...

 Read Full Article
Less Time To Manage Flexitime

South Ayrshire Council is using the latest flexitime workforce management system from HFX, a provider of workforce time management products. The Council replaced its...

 Read Full Article