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Complaint about Orange Broadband advertising upheld
Wednesday 16 July 2008 10:48:36 by Andrew Ferguson

If advertising complaints were judged on the number of complaints received then this latest adjudication against Orange would never have seen the light of day, as the only complainant was BT.

In a newspaper advert Orange compared its Home Max Package against the combined packages of BT Broadband Option 3 and BT Together Calling Plan Option 2. The advert claimed that based on BT pricing in December 2007 that the Orange package saved people over £190.

The ASA took into account that Orange had tried to compare the most alike packages, but ruled that the BT complaint be upheld as it felt there was significant differences, namely the BT Home Hub phone, Norton Security Suite and inclusive Wi-Fi minutes and that these should have been highlighted in the advertising so people could make a fair comparison.

What is interesting is that the ASA appears to have missed the fact the the £24 a month (first three months at £12 a month currently) price only applies to around 60% of the country, a £4 non-LLU surcharge applies to areas where Orange does not have its LLU service, whereas BT currently has uniform pricing across the country. The small print for both providers can raise the price of course Orange charge £2 a month extra if you don't pay by direct debit, BT charge £1.50 a month if not using a direct debit plus 50p a month for those who want a paper bill.

One interesting area is that the recent Ofcom Broadband Speeds Code of Practice requires publication of the criteria for falling foul of the fair use policy (FUP) both products use. Once providers finally update their websites to provide some concrete information comparison will be easy, for now it could be that Orange's FUP is more relaxed than the BT, or vice versa.

Comments

Posted by keith_thfc over 8 years ago
"One interesting area is that the recent Ofcom Broadband Speeds Code of Practice requires publication of the criteria for falling foul of the fair use policy (FUP) both products use. "

I wasn't aware of that.

There is no way on earth that the likes of BT and Orange will volutarily state their specific FUP rules as:

a) They want to continue having the freedom to change the throttling rules at any time - the main purpose of a FUP.

b) Putting it in black and white would make any mention of the word "unlimited" a much easy target for complaints.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
What a shocker BT whine again and its upheld, the public moan about something or other companies moan and its rarely upheld by the ASA. One has to wonder what type of child Ofcom and the ASA would produce, they certainly seem to be bed buddies nowadays
Posted by keith_thfc over 8 years ago
Whoever is first to print all these bizarre ASA adjudications is bound to have a comedy bestseller on their hands.....
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Can you imagine the fun it must be working for the ASA listening to all the whingers drone on about some stupid minor little thing that upsets their cotton wool coat. I imagine at times it must be pretty darn funny.
Posted by davidt67 over 8 years ago
Orange FUP is simple
"IF you can get a working internet connection you can use it..."
"IF you can get your VOIP phone to connect you can make a call..."
Posted by terrygoodfellow over 8 years ago
Ok I had problems with ORANGE at the start. It was the perennial problem of "too far from the BT exchange". They(!) sorted it - and things are better, but the question still remains of BT - how could they improve service to me, at the end of the exchange cable (next exchange not much nearer) short of investing thousands on a bigger server or building the exchange closer. So BT could not deliver a better service to me even if I was with them, or any providers who deliver by the BT line - an issue which the cold-call marketing man from BT found difficult to address. Value for money please!
Posted by davidt67 over 8 years ago
There is a difference between being on LLU and BT Wholesale. This may be a negative or positive for pricing or performance depending on your exchange and location.
Orange is LLU on our exchange so pricing is good and connection is 50% faster than BT over same cable. Where Orange is not LLU the extra cost for reselling BT is a disincentive, plus the speed is typically slower than BT retail.
Strangely with TalkTalk LLU the speed was far worse than BT wholesale.
So whose networks and how many networks and hops you are using matter for speed and perceived performance and reliability.
Posted by Derby over 8 years ago
I feel BT are being extremely silly by complaining to the ASA. Orange for the price they charge, their service is far better than anything BT offer, just by having Broadband and VOIP you have the more superior package.
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