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ASA To Clear Carphone Complaints

Posted: 14th Jul, 2006 By: MarkJ
The Carphone Warehouse's (TalkTalk) chief executive, Charles Dunstone, has claimed in his blog that the operator is to be cleared of complaints about its "free" broadband advertising:

According to Charles Dunstone's blog, Carphone Warehouse is "delighted and relieved to be able to report that common sense has prevailed and we will still be able to advertise the service as free".

Dunstone added that the company will be making "some small changes" to the offers terms and conditions as a concession, although a spokesperson for Carphone Warehouse told ZDNet UK on Friday that it was impossible to be more specific until the ASA publishes its findings early next week.

The complaint was taken to the ASA by dozens of individuals, as well as rivals including BT and Tiscali. They claimed that using the description "Free Broadband" was misleading as customers have to use and pay for a Talk Talk phone line and voice package, but Dunstone's blog entry suggests Carphone Warehouse was successful in arguing that "to call something free it must be associated with a product or service that was available prior to its launch".

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is due to publish its next update on Wednesday, so we'll probably have to wait until then to find just how "cleared" CW has been.

Interestingly the ZDNet item talks about having to make a "concession" in the T&C's, which usually suggests pressure resulting from an upheld complaint.

In related news the operator has revealed plans to launch an even lower cost "free" broadband package next week using its basic phone product.
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