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Broadband contract advertising and pricing clearer from today

by Mark Tyson on 31 October 2016, 10:01

Tags: Ofcom

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Broadband advertising and the price you will actually pay should become clearer starting today. The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) and Ofcom worked together to improve "transparency in broadband price ads", as reported by HEXUS back in May. From today adverts for broadband services must highlight all-inclusive up-front and monthly costs – line rental can't be separated out into small print.

According to the ASA the new rules will "help stop consumers being confused or misled". In a survey taken before these rule changes it was shown that "81 per cent of participants were unable to calculate correctly the total cost of a broadband contract when asked to do so after viewing an ad". Hopefully the changes will make things much simpler for broadband customers and switchers.

To stay within the new ASA rules, broadband provider ads should:

  • Show all-inclusive up-front and monthly costs; no more separating out line rental
  • Give greater prominence to the contract length and any post-discount pricing, and
  • Combine all compulsory up-front costs (such as delivery fees, activation fees and installation fees) in one total and give that greater prominence too.

"Broadband is fundamental to our everyday lives," wrote ASA Chief Executive Guy Parker in an opinion piece. Parker says that now the ASA has tackled pricing transparency it is going to move on to look at the advertising of broadband speeds. Research has already been done regarding broadband provider speed claims and the ASA will announce its next steps later this autumn. The end goal is for more responsible advertising to help consumers make an informed choice in this competitive market.

HEXUS Forums :: 12 Comments

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Step in the right direction, hopefully the will start clamping down on quoted speeds next. I pay for “Up to 80Mb”, I was getting over 72-73 when it was installed, which I was fairly happy with, but it's slowly degraded to about 55 so I'm now closer to the 40Mb package than I am the 80.

I think the cost should be on a sliding scale, like my connection speed is!
I live with a 4.5Mb connection, and that is unstable at the best of times.
Oh great, even more incentive for big discounts up front and the resulting price gouging if you stay with an ISP.
Oh great, even more incentive for big discounts up front and the resulting price gouging if you stay with an ISP.

Just swap ISPs, past that I phone talk talk when my contract is up and the word “plusnet” seems to get them listening.
People still don't understand that “you get what you pay for!”