Ads Watchdog Demands Clearer Broadband Prices from ISPs

By Gary Cutlack on at

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority is taking action on the often shady promises made by internet companies, and will soon require them to clearly state one monthly price that includes everything. So no leaving out the line rental, or trying to make it look like the first two days' introductory price is the actual price you, and your children's children, have to pay for the entire duration of the 7,500 month contract. Oh sorry, didn't you read the small print about it being a 7,500 month contract?

The ASA says the mess of competing introductory period discounts, conveniently ignored line rental costs, differing bundles, contract lengths and one-off installation fees confuses consumers so much so that, from October, broadband ads must be sorted out. It would like to see adverts that show all-inclusive monthly costs including line rental, clearly state contract length and give greater prominence to any up-front costs. Simples, as they say in advertising land.

ASA chief exec Guy Parker said: "We recognise the importance of broadband services to people's lives at work and at home. The findings of our research, and other factors we took into account, showed the way prices have been presented in broadband ads is likely to confuse and mislead customers. This new tougher approach has been developed to make sure consumers are not misled and get the information they need to make well-informed choices."

The rule changes kick in at the end of October. [ASA via Guardian]

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