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Virgin Media and the ASA round two
Wednesday 09 May 2012 09:55:21 by Andrew Ferguson

Virgin Media has been taken to task over the lack of prominence for its voice line rental when it is required to qualify for a promotional offer. Some eighteen complaints were received by the ASA about a TV ad, press ad and circular which promoted a bundle of services all including calls.

Virgin Media said that it was following advice from CAP on the positioning of the requirement to pay line rental, and what they had done was in line with industry practice. The ASA seemed not to agree and had the following to say:

"We noted that the Code required quoted prices to include non-optional charges that applied to buyers. We understood that the line rental was a compulsory monthly charge, which consumers were required to pay in order to obtain the bundle, and because it had not been included in the quoted headline price, we concluded that the ads were misleading."

Extract from ASA adjudication

It seems because people buying a Virgin Media cable service have no option to take their line rental or calls with another provider on that network, that in bundles that include calls, the line rental will have to be included in the headline price.


Posted by checker over 5 years ago
These tit for tat complaints are only making the legal profession! richer than they allready are.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
This one was less tit for tat, as eighteen complaints were received, rather than just one from a provider.

Posted by bryhhh over 5 years ago
This 'industry practise' is very misleading, and the sooner it is stopped the better. The same goes for using the term 'Unlimited' against a service which has usage limits.
Posted by jrawle over 5 years ago
I remember when the big selling point of cable was that you didn't have to have a phoneline. While still true in a technical sense, the packages are priced in such a way that it's not worth not having a phoneline, losing any advantage they had over BT-based services.
Posted by leexgx over 5 years ago
well the ASA should make that statement for BT resold providers as well, as its annoying for an customer or even my self to have to add every thing up

as Line rental is not always the same for other providers so you have to factor the line rental
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
While line rental is required for ADSL, you generally have a choice with IPStream/WBC based services.

BT Retail there is not, TalkTalk and Sky there is not, i.e. you have to take their line rental.
Posted by gsituffers1 over 5 years ago
to jrawle
heres our current pricing -
large tv package large 30mb bb =£36.50 by dd and ebilling
large tv large 30mb bb weekend phone £43.40 by dd and ebilling
so yes it is cheaper if thats what you would like
to all ther rest -i agree all products should be sold with the companies own standard line rental fees included or the price shouldnt be headlined at all - no more small print please
Posted by gsituffers1 over 5 years ago
also broadband
large 30mb broadband £22.50 without phone
and with weekend calls and 30mb bb £28.90
so bt bb £13 + £14.60 line rental =£27.60 by dd and ebilling with upto 16mb with 10gb limits for downloads -
so competitive depending on usage or cost
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Only problem of listing with a companies standard line rental included is that many companies don't care who you take your line rental from.

So listing theres would give the impression that their rental is the only option.
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