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Relish sees hand slapped by ASA
Wednesday 10 December 2014 09:12:06 by Andrew Ferguson

Relish has had BT complain to the ASA about the 4G providers adverts on a number of points, highlighting that the while the ASA hands out the adjudications the industry seems to be policed by providers keeping an eye on each others adverts alone.

The complaints centred around whether coverage claims could be substantiated, whether the pricing in the adverts applied to both business and consumers and an incorrect line rental in the price comparison table. The listing of a £16.75 voice line rental price for BT should have been a simple correction to the Relish website, so surprised it has taken an ASA complaint to see it corrected.

The ASA has investigated and on the issue of coverage the various cautions and caveats on the Relish website are considered enough. The issue of pricing should see Relish changing its advertising wording, since they now need to make it clear that consumer services start at £20/month whereas business services start at £25/month.

The package comparison which was with Infinity 2 was always going to be contentious, since while the service advertises up to 50 Mbps of those people using our speed test on a Relish connection the top 10% are achieving 28.2 Mbps or faster with a median of 13.1 Mbps (mean 15.8 Mbps) for downloads. Relish has switched to a comparison with Infinity 1 now but even so the ASA has told Relish to ensure that people are made aware of significant differences, including add-ons like BT Wi-Fi, cloud storage, BT Sport etc.

The area Relish operate covers several of the parts of London where FTTC based services are not available from Relish and cable services are also absent, and we suspect a lot of the take-up is from those who currently get slow ADSL speeds and have no fast fibre based option. The reliability of the 4G has been questioned, and this is partly down to issue of getting a high frequency signal inside buildings, if Relish and other 4G services are to truly challenge fixed line solutions they need to solve these sort of stability issues that can be caused by signal, hardware and general loading on the network. For now though as an ADSL killer, Relish is onto a winner, but as a replacement for a fibre based service we are less sure.

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