BT Retail gets into trouble for free promotions
A previous ASA ruling required broadband providers to make it clearer what the cost of telephone line rental was in cases where it was a requirement to get the broadband service for the advertised price. It appears according to one of the latest ASA adjudications that the rush to comply with that ruling has led to BT publishing a mis-leading advert that the ASA have ruled cannot be shown again.
The issue arose because two people complained that the 'free for six months' headline could be misleading, as some may understand this to mean that both the broadband and telephone line rental was free. This was emphasised by the phrase 'Then just £13 a month, plus your line rental at £14.60 a month' appearing under the main headline.
A third complaint was also raised challenging whether the £14.60 per month for line rental was misleading, as the price was due to increase in January 2013 (advert was on TV in October 2012), this complaint was not upheld as the date and price of line rental of £15.45 that come into effect on 5th January was considered clear enough.
The fact that BT Retail was due to increase its prices for pretty much all its products in January 2013 was originally announced in August 2012 and has been regular feature of household finance columns since then, particularly as competitors follow the trend.
The other aspect of the adjudication simply emphasis's the need for people to ensure they read the small print for any promotion and to also confirm the terms when signing up to a service.