Plusnet told to talk more in its radio adverts
The ASA has upheld a complaint that a Plusnet advert was misleading due to the omission of the variation in pricing depending on where you live in the UK. Plusnet is the only provider in the UK to offer lower priced products in Market 3 areas, or looking at it another way, charges more for those living in Market 1 and 2 areas. Those in Market 3 areas are paying £6.49 for the term of their contract, and those in other areas £10.79 or £12.99 after the initial three month offer of £6.49 has expired.
Market 3 is an Ofcom definition which is where an exchange has four or more other broadband operators and BT's Wholesale share is less than 50% of the connections. This means 77.6% of UK premises are in Market 3, and due to the lack of a dominant position and high competition, BT Wholesale is allowed to charge lower prices.
Plusnet has decided to try and compete with the various LLU providers by passing on this saving, whereas other providers have not visibly shifted their pricing to follow. Most other major providers utilise their own LLU network (TalkTalk, Sky, O2), charging more where they end up having to resell a BT Wholesale based service, these off-net supplements can be £15 and are invariably never mentioned in advertising.
One major difference between Plusnet's pricing and that of the LLU operators is that the actual service delivery is the same no matter whether a customer is in Market 1,2 or 3. With the LLU operators, invariably their non-LLU services offer a lower quality of service and a higher price.