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Plusnet sent to the headmaster that is the ASA
Wednesday 01 May 2013 13:03:41 by Andrew Ferguson

Plusnet is this weeks broadband provider to feature in the list of adverts that have been complained about, a total of four viewers raised complaints about the series of adverts that ran promoting an offer than ran out back in February 2013.

Three issues were raised but only the second two points were upheld by the ASA. Plusnet were made to make changes to ensure significant conditions were clear and that availability of a promotion was made clear.

  • One viewer complained that the on-screen text was illegible. The ASA noted that the text was white on a black background and was considered legible for those who made a positive effort to read all the text.
  • Another viewer questioned the content of the ad, because the offer did not apply to everyone. The ASA found this part to be contradictory, as the advert said 'New customers only', but Plusnet said it was available to existing customers too, thus the complaint has been upheld as existing customers would have believed it was not available to them.
  • The other complaints focused on whether it was clear that the offer only applied if broadband and calls with line rental was purchased. The requirement to take line rental at £13.99 was the ASA concluded not sufficiently prominent and the advert in its form several months ago gave the impression that the offer of half price broadband applies to all broadband packages Plusnet sold.

The requirement for line rental is becoming an increasing factor for people to get the best broadband deals, we believe that a large part of this is that the larger providers see revenue from calls as a way to subsidise very low price point broadband. The year on year price increases in voice line rental, when the cost from Openreach has been decreasing also support this notion. If you have the money to pay the voice line rental 12 months in advance, many providers have offers which can save you around £5 per month so it is worth looking for these and even if there is no obvious offer on their website, call them as some don't openly promote their best line rental deals.


Posted by jrawle over 3 years ago
It's time the rules were changed so companies can only advertise the total cost of a package. Airlines have been banned from giving prices that exclude unavoidable extras and it should be the same for broadband.
Posted by otester over 3 years ago
We shouldn't be dumbing this down further.

Just means people don't read the damn contract before purchasing things.
Posted by PhilCoates over 3 years ago
Perhaps they should add that morons need not apply as elementary reading and comprehension skills are required when signing any contract.
Posted by mervl over 3 years ago
Don't tell 'em that. There'll be a flood of complainants expecting a release from their contracts on the grounds that they lack elementary reading and comprehension skills. All of us, then.
Posted by joe_pineapples over 3 years ago
by eck there's nowt as queer as folk.
Posted by professor973 over 3 years ago
It's a wonder there was not a complaint aboutt he claim of 24/7 customer service in the latest adverts.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 3 years ago
This was a misleading TV advertisement. It is a pity that there no fines are applied in this situation.
Posted by jrawle over 3 years ago
When it comes to things such as "up to" speed I agree about "dumbing down", but as someone who always carefully reads contracts, I resent the way they advertise something you can't actually buy. Either you pay more becasue you take their line rental, or you pay more becasue the price without their line rental is higher. It makes it more difficult to compare prices and is the sort of thing the authorities such act on.
Posted by chrysalis over 3 years ago
jrawle correct, the way I see it they highlighted the price without line rental, but that price is only valid if you also take line rental meaning on the advert the combined price should be shown or the price without line rental should be shown. Because its impossible for it to be the price they advertised unless you somehow get free line rental of them.
Posted by CJT-80 over 3 years ago
professor973 is there not 24/7 customer support?

The Website contact us section suggests there is...

Residential support

0800 432 0200
0345 140 0200
All day, every day

Sounds like 24/7 to me...
Posted by otester over 3 years ago

"I resent the way they advertise something you can't actually buy."

Jealous, much?
Posted by otester over 3 years ago
"It makes it more difficult to compare prices and is the sort of thing the authorities such act on."

So lazyness is an excuse for legislation now?
Posted by jrawle over 3 years ago
@otester (and others): if a shop displayed prices that were cheaper than any customers could actually purchase the goods for, Trading Standards would be investigating. Not including compulsory extras is a con, plain and simple.
Posted by nrflux over 3 years ago
Only FOUR people complained! What a farce, the ASA obviously has little else to do.
Posted by xb0xguru over 3 years ago
@nrflux - so how many people need to spot an obvious error in the advert before the ASA action it? This is *exactly* how it should work. False advertising is just that, regardless of how many people take time to report it. You should be applauding the ASA, not criticising them.
Posted by michael2909 over 3 years ago
I don't object to the line rentals but I expected all my calls to be free. I now find that free calls only relates to landline calls - mobiles are expensive and more and more people now only have mobiles.
Posted by rainman100 over 3 years ago
Who drew that big dog ?
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