Broadband News

Orange advert labelled misleading over use of "unlimited"

The Advertising Standards Authority, the agency responsible for ensuring standards in advertising within the UK has upheld a complaint from T-Mobile against Orange in relation to an advert in a magazine promoting its residential broadband service.

The complaint arose from the claim by Orange that the service included "unlimited" calls to UK and certain international destinations and "unlimited" downloads, however both were subject to a fair usage policy. Orange did admit that they made an error not specifying that a fair usage policy applied in the advert as per normal practice.

Interestingly in their response, Orange confirmed that as of the end of March, 1.96% of their customers had exceeded the fair usage policy limitations of 1,000 minutes per month in phone calls and that thus far they had not reacted in any way against those customers (although they did plan to draw those customers' attention to it in the future).

On the broadband fair use policy side, they explained that there was no specific limit in use, but stated that "the level of downloads which gave rise to the possibility that a customer might be affected by the fair usage policy was 40GB in March 2007." affecting 1.09% of their unlimited broadband customers.

The ASA acknowledged that most typical users would not be affected by these limits based on the evidence Orange provided, but it nevertheless upheld the complaints on the grounds it would affect a sufficient number of users to require a footnote about the existence of a fair usage policy. It also criticised Orange for the 'error', noting that similar omissions had occurred on at least two other occasions.


This is such a great example of how the ASA are equally as utterly useless as Ofcom.

All they are bothered about is that Orange didn't mention the word "FUP", not the fact that the FUP itself is just a made up word that allows it to happily mis-sell an unlimited service.

I bet the Orange fat cats are laughing their socks off over this.

  • keith_thfc
  • over 13 years ago

I am wondering if there is only 1.09 % of users exceeded 40 GB per month? What I believe is 2,3GB day is quite common for most of users today, especially with the development of VOIP, online TV and gaming.

I would say it should be allowed to use "unlimited" to advertise if it isn't, even they attached further terms on their FUP, it's still quite easy to get people misleaded.

  • rian
  • over 13 years ago

Rian - how do you know its only 1.09%?

You only have Orange's word for that.

  • keith_thfc
  • over 13 years ago

40 GB per month is very much the high end of internet use. Conspiracy theories apart there is much publicised data (for example Talk Talk only provide 25 kbit/s per user) and the relaity is that a lot of people use a few GB at most. Many Metronet users with 300M inclusive didn't exceed that, for example.

  • herdwick
  • over 13 years ago

"40 GB per month is very much the high end of internet use."

What complete tripe... I can exceed that very easily and LEGALLY

  • over 13 years ago

The "40 GB ... high end" comment didn't mention anything about legality! The vast majority of people on broadband use it mainly for browsing and email so use a lot less than 40GB. ADSL contention ratio relied on this fact!

With the increasing amount of multimedia content coming into mainstream use (vid-blogs like youtube, VOD, promo trailers) so it’s surprising that only 1.09% exceed 40GB. If the people exceeding the FUP are so low, then why set it at 40GB? Most moderate users monitor usage, so would be put off by a perceived low limit – hard or otherwise.

  • nicch
  • over 13 years ago

im on orange, and im very much certain that ive done more than 40gb monthly, but no comment from Orange.. however, my speeds have gone down from 6.7mbps to (sometimes) as low as 1mb... perhaps its becuase of my usage????

  • sarcy
  • over 13 years ago

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