Broadband News

Plusnet sent to the headmaster that is the ASA

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.

Comments

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.

  • jrawle
  • over 4 years ago

We shouldn't be dumbing this down further.

Just means people don't read the damn contract before purchasing things.

  • otester
  • over 4 years ago

Perhaps they should add that morons need not apply as elementary reading and comprehension skills are required when signing any contract.

  • PhilCoates
  • over 4 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.

  • mervl
  • over 4 years ago

by eck there's nowt as queer as folk.

  • joe_pineapples
  • over 4 years ago

It's a wonder there was not a complaint aboutt he claim of 24/7 customer service in the latest adverts.

  • professor973
  • over 4 years ago

This was a misleading TV advertisement. It is a pity that there no fines are applied in this situation.

  • Michael_Chare
  • over 4 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.

  • jrawle
  • over 4 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.

  • chrysalis
  • over 4 years ago

professor973 is there not 24/7 customer support?

The Plus.net 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...

  • CJT-80
  • over 4 years ago

@jrawle

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

Jealous, much?

  • otester
  • over 4 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?

  • otester
  • over 4 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.

  • jrawle
  • over 4 years ago

Only FOUR people complained! What a farce, the ASA obviously has little else to do.

  • nrflux
  • over 4 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.

  • xb0xguru
  • over 4 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.

  • michael2909
  • over 4 years ago

Who drew that big dog ?

  • rainman100
  • over 4 years ago

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