Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

TalkTalk UK ISP Adverts Banned for Breaking Fixed Price Promise

Wednesday, September 29th, 2021 (7:51 am) - Score 3,744
talktalk uk broadband isp 2020

The UK Advertising Standards Authority has banned a TV and email advert for ISP TalkTalk’s home broadband packages, which occurred after they were found to have misleadingly pledged “no mid-contract rises” on supposedly “fixed” price plans, only to later increase their prices during the fixed contract period.

In today’s market, it’s not unusual for broadband ISPs to promote fixed price plans with no mid-contract price increases as a selling point. In this case the issue centres around two of TalkTalk’s packages, one of which (“Faster Fibre” [FTTC]) was promoted on TV in March 2020 alongside the “fixed until 2022” line about pricing, while an email advert seen in January 2020 used the more overt – “No mid-contract rises on your Fixed Price Plan.”

A total of 9 people – seemingly including those who signed-up as a result of the adverts – complained about the promotion because they were later “informed that the price of their broadband packages was to increase during the fixed contract period,” which is something that we have covered before (here and here).

In response, TalkTalk essentially blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for pushing up data usage beyond their expectations (i.e. increasing the cost of service delivery because so many people were stuck at home, gobbling more data). Funnily enough, other ISPs seemed able to handle the situation, and without breaking their promise to customers. Predictably, the ASA upheld the complaints.

ASA Ruling REF: G21-1102554 TalkTalk Telecom Ltd

We acknowledged the increase in the usage of the network during the Covid-19 pandemic was unlikely to have been foreseen at the time the ads were seen. However, we disagreed with TalkTalk that consumers would not expect to pay a fixed price for the level of usage seen during the lockdowns. Consumers had agreed a price for their broadband to be delivered with a particular speed, to be used as required, and they would expect that price to be honoured.

Consumers were likely to understand that some limitations would exist in many cases to advertising claims, and we agreed that a one-off incident would not undermine a general claim such as ‘next-day’ delivery, for example. However, in the context of the price of a contract which was described as ‘fixed’, we considered that consumers would expect to be able to rely on that price during the period for which it was claimed to be fixed.

Because the ads claimed that the price of the contracts would be fixed for 24 months, and ad (b) claimed that there would be no mid-contract price rises, when that was not the case, we concluded that the ads were likely to mislead.

Naturally, the ASA banned TalkTalk’s adverts and warned them “not to claim that prices were ‘fixed’ or that there would be no mid-contract price rises if that was not the case.” The ISP has already been criticised for all of this before, so we suspect that most of the damage here has already been done, and the ASA ruling will thus come as more of a reminder.

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
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
10 Responses
  1. AQX says:

    Damn that sure showed them! Over a year later and no financial penalty, free to do it again and considering this isn’t their first warning I bet they do.

  2. Ben says:

    The ASA proudly showing it’s gums…

    1. GNewton says:

      Yeah right. And who is banning the ASA for promoting false “fibre broadband” ads of various telecoms?

  3. anon676767 says:

    Cuckoo Broadband (FTTC) is better than Talktalk in pretty much every way.

    No contracts and no inadvertent blocking of websites.

    Talktalk is slow to learn, they still seem to think customers will happily pay more after their contract is up (or sometimes during).

    1. Bubbles says:

      How’s your technicolour router doing lol

  4. TalkTalk are robbers says:

    I’m one of the complainants and have been sitting on this ruling for 10 days. The ASA are powerless, but they have handily demolished any legal defence in their ruling. Handy for a MoneyClaim Online if they don’t refund.

  5. Frank says:

    Talk talk contacted me about my fixed price plan, and told me that they were suddenly going to increase the price, and tried to tell me that I had misunderstood the agreement and was not on a fixed price plan, and would have to pay more if I wanted a real fixed price plan, when I argued and told them that they were wrong and should read the contract that they had previously sent me, they changed their attitude and gave me a new offer with guaranteed no price increase

  6. Stephen says:

    I’ve switched from talk talk cause for pass year my Internet speed as been so poor I was so fed up reporting it but they are quick enough to take your money and if didn’t they disconnect me I’ve always paid my bill on time and what compensation do we get for there hassle and stress nothing there useless.

  7. STEVE says:

    I was on 2year fixed from November 2020 and had to pay increase can I claim it back

    1. Laurence 'GreenReaper' Parry says:

      Probably not, because this relates to an advertisement for service in March 2020. Presumably they would have accounted for the impact of COVID by November and not claimed that there would be a fixed price.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Vodafone £23.50 (*26.50)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Gigaclear £24.00 (*49.00)
    Speed: 300Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £25.00 (*35.00)
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: ROKUGIFT
  • Community Fibre £27.50 (*32.50)
    Speed: 200Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: First 6 Months Free
  • Virgin Media £28.00 (*52.00)
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Vodafone £19.50 (*22.50)
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • NOW £20.00 (*32.00)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £20.00 (*25.00)
    Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: ROKUGIFT
  • TalkTalk £21.00 (*29.95)
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Shell Energy £21.99 (*30.99)
    Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (3669)
  2. BT (3044)
  3. Politics (1975)
  4. Building Digital UK (1945)
  5. FTTC (1897)
  6. Openreach (1862)
  7. Business (1717)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1501)
  9. Statistics (1430)
  10. FTTH (1367)
  11. 4G (1295)
  12. Virgin Media (1196)
  13. Fibre Optic (1184)
  14. Wireless Internet (1176)
  15. Ofcom Regulation (1167)
  16. Vodafone (859)
  17. EE (845)
  18. 5G (792)
  19. TalkTalk (781)
  20. Sky Broadband (757)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact