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JT Gets Sure Advert Banned for Misleading “UNLIMITED” Data Claim

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 (8:58 am) - Score 571
uk advertising standards authority

The Jersey (Channel Islands) based telecoms operator JT has managed to get a website and press advert for rival Sure Ltd. banned after the provider misleadingly promoted their pay monthly mobile tariffs as offering both “UNLIMITED” data and txt messages, which was despite the operator applying restrictions in its Fair Usage Policy (FUP).

A block of small print for the related website advert, which incidentally didn’t appear in a similar press promotion, did at least state that a “Fair usage policy applies to unlimited texts of 6000 per month … and unlimited data of 500MB per day“.

Apparently those who use more than 6000 txt messages would be charged standard rates, while those who gobbled more than 500MB of data could continue until they hit 1GB and at that point their speed would be reduced to “up to 384 KB/s” until midnight that night (we suspect they mean Kilobits and not KiloBytes).

Naturally the Advertising Standards Authority, which has strict rules to govern the use of “unlimited” in marketing, wasn’t best pleased.

ASA Ruling (Ref: A14-272951)

We noted that Sure’s customers who exceeded 6,000 texts per month were then charged at the standard rate for texts. We considered that constituted a restriction likely to be contrary to the average consumer’s expectation of a service with “unlimited” texts and concluded the “unlimited texts” claims were therefore misleading.

With regard to data usage, we noted Sure’s assertions that only a small group of customers reached the data limit, and that because it was based on daily usage customers would be able to amend their usage the following day. However we noted that when customers reached the limit, the speed at which they could download data was severely restricted, in comparison to their normal speeds, for the remainder of that day. We considered that restriction was contrary to consumer’s likely expectations of an “unlimited” data service. We concluded the ads were misleading.

The ASA banned both promotions in their current form and told Sure not to make “unlimited” claims if additional charges applied, or if they imposed restrictions that were more than moderate.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar GNewton

    Is that the same ASA who doesn’t even know what fibre broadband is?

  2. Avatar FibreFred

    “… and unlimited data of 500MB per day“.

    That is pure class 🙂

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