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ASA Ban Confusingly Priced Advert for Lycamobile’s 15GB Mobile Data Plan

Thursday, September 21st, 2017 (3:40 pm) - Score 1,046

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has once again banned an advert for Lycamobile‘s service after they failed to make the duration of their special offer pricing clear on a website promotion for the “UK ULTRA PLAN” (15GB Data, Unlimited Mins and Texts).

The plan was promoted alongside text that read “£25 / 30 DAYS” (the £25 was crossed-through), while larger text underneath said, “£12 when you buy a new SIM with plan online“. A link stating “Find out more” also appeared alongside. However one person complained that the new £12 price point only applied for 30 days before returning to £25.

ASA Ruling (Ref: A17-388218)

In the context of an ad for a 30-day rolling SIM contract, we considered that understanding that the offer price applied for the first 30 days only, and that the crossed through price applied for subsequent 30-day periods, was material information that should have been made clear in the ad.

We acknowledged that the ad contained a link to further information, but noted that it did not link directly to an explanation of the validity period of the offer or an explanation that the crossed through price applied for subsequent 30-day periods.

Because the ad did not make it clear that the offer price applied for the first 30 days only, and did not explain that the crossed through price applied for subsequent 30-day periods, we concluded that it was likely to mislead.

Sadly it’s not the first time that the ASA has had to take action against one of the operator’s promotions (examples here, here and here), although in fairness most of the earlier disputes occurred all the way back in 2013-14.

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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. kds says:

    This phone company is run by bunch of thugs

  2. Walter G M Willcox says:

    WHEN can we expect the ASA to do a “Duke of Edinburgh” with both Virgin Media and BT et al on their quite false claims for “Fibre Broadband” applying to ALL broadband metallic wiring into homes.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      They are due to report the outcome from their initial probe before the end of this year, I believe. But obviously this is somewhat off-topic 🙂 .

    2. GNewton says:

      Are you saying it will take ASA up to a whole year to establish the simple fact that VDSL copper is not fibre? Maybe it’s time to abolish the ASA and replace it with a proper regulator! ASA may have been able to decide on small issues like the Lycomobile advert, but certainly proved itself unfit to do the job when VM and BT heavily got involved with misleading ‘fibre broadband’ adverts.

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