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ASA dismisses complaint relating to O2 ad
Wednesday 11 February 2009 09:11:39 by Andrew Ferguson

O2 has been in front of the Advertising Standards Authority for complaints about two adverts in the national press.

A competing broadband provider complained that only around 5% of UK users could attain the headline speed on ADSL2+ technology and thus the adverts overstated the claims.

"Telefonica O2 UK Ltd (O2) said, when preparing the ad, they had followed previous ASA adjudications and CAP guidance, which required ads for high speed broadband services to state that top speeds varied significantly, in particular because of a user's distance from the local exchange. They pointed out that the ads not only pre-fixed the claim '20 Meg' with 'up to', in accordance with the established industry norm for advertising speeds, but also included an explicit, body-copy reference to the speed being 'dependent on location'. They also pointed out that the small print stated 'speed varies depending on factors including distance from the exchange and network coverage'. O2 added that the ad featured a link to their website which contained a significant body of information on their services."

ASA Judgement

Based on previous rulings over the need for providers to use 'up to' in advertising it is perhaps no surprise the complaint was not upheld. The assessment did reveal some info on the performance of ADSL2+, namely that the majority of O2 customers on the Ultimate package achieved speeds of at least 8Mbps, which is to be expected as O2 only offer Ultimate to customers thought to be within 1.25 km of the exchange. One aspect that is pretty rare among providers, is that O2 contact customers after they've been connected a while and offer to downgrade to a lower priced package if their speeds are under 16Mbps. Customers can choose to stay on Ultimate to benefit from other aspects of the package.


Posted by Spectre_01 over 8 years ago
Posted by superbike999 over 8 years ago
It is quite true that O2 contact customers if they are not achieving the package they have signed up for. I signed up for the 16 Mps package which my line could not reach. They sent me an email & I later downgraded to 8 Mps with no problem at all. Their customer service is noted to be excellent on the user forums. It would be intesting to know who made the complaint.
Posted by adamtemp over 8 years ago
From the asa website VIRGIN MEDIA
Posted by rian over 8 years ago
O2 is a worry for other companies, lol.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
How will the ASA dismiss complaints when 21CN 24mbit dsl is sold en masse, will be way below 5% who can achieve it and no cheaper product to push dissapointed customers down to due to the lack of burst speed charging on BTw.
Posted by Spectre_01 over 8 years ago
'up to'
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Remember that when you sign up, Chrysalis, you'll be presented with your probable speed (or at least, you're supposed to be). That in itself is bluntly a good defence.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
I know, this I see a problem tho when isp's have headline up to speeds that only apply to a low single digit %, its the reason sky do up to 16meg instead of 24 meg they even admitted the reason was that 16meg was a far more realistic figure to use. At some point the ASA needs to make a ruling in my view that up to should only be used when a reasonable amount of people can obtain it.
Posted by David-Park over 8 years ago
I'm with Be, think same as O2, they quoted me a speed of approx 14meg at sign up.
I get on Think BB speed test 11.6meg. my router says Connection Speed 14057 kbps
I wonder if the higher is Sync. speed thus people are confused.
Posted by duckz over 8 years ago
Im with them on their premium package and im getting about 17meg, although I am quite close to the exchange.
Posted by charlietoo over 8 years ago
When I queried Be-there regarding their 24Meg package, they said that I would probably get 7Meg. I had previously been getting 1.5 Meg when It wasn't down, with Pipex. I signed up with Be and now have a reliable 7-8 Meg.
Posted by baddog over 8 years ago
'ASA upholds complaints against Virgin Media 'fibre optic' advertising
Wednesday 04 February 2009 18:56:47'
'SA dismisses complaint relating to O2 ad' made by Virgin media, lol!

I'm with 02 and have NO complaints. I'm on 8 meg package (all they'd give me because of distance from exchange), get a CONSTANT 6 -7 meg down, 1 meg up.
The first ISP I've been with where I haven't had to battle with appalling customer service to get something that worked properly in the evenings (I admitted defeat, and left Tiscali and then Vivaciti).
Posted by veryslowlyslowly over 8 years ago
Re: advertised B/band speeds at the user end !?

O2 may have won their case in the courts, but I would gamble that by doing so they have not won any more friends at the user end. In fact, as a fed up user, I am bitter at them even having the gall and audacity to contest the case.

Posted by Youngy over 8 years ago
Since moving to O2 they've been most helpful/reliable service. Not had any problems with migration or service since. And I've had ISP's over the years that have been useless. Im paying what works out £1.50pm for 10meg speed. No noticable traffic shaping or slow-downs. Well done O2
Posted by northernscum over 8 years ago
After leaving Virgin media and migrating to O2, I have nothing but praise for the company.
Their customer service is second to none and the speed albeit not as fast as the maximum quoted is 4 x quicker than virgin for half the price!!
Keep it up O2!
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