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uSwitch Calls For "Unlimited" Broadband Advert Ban

Posted: 13th Mar, 2007 By: MarkJ
uSwitch.com has called for broadband ISP adverts that promote "unlimited" downloads to be banned. The price comparison site makes specific mention of those services where a vague fair usage policy lingers in the small print:

Many broadband packages attract customers by offering unlimited downloads, but actually implement a policy that means some will be disconnected or charged extra if they are seen to be overusing the service.

uSwitch.com has called on the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and industry watchdog Ofcom to consider banning advertising for these supposedly unmetered services.

“If these policies are to be classed as 'fair', broadband companies need to clearly define these limits and explain to customers what will happen when they are exceeded... this is an industry-wide issue and we have highlighted our concerns to both the ASA and Ofcom,” said Steve Weller, head of communication services at uSwitch.

Unfortunately uSwitch's attempts to take the moral high ground are somewhat tempered by the fact that their own listings suffer the same problems, albeit not entirely their fault. Still, we do agree with the overall notion.

However it's perhaps more a problem with providers that, barring a few exceptions, fail to properly define what "excessive", "abuse" or other related terminology means.

Fair usage policies are often vague and do not give any specific definition of where the line may be drawn, which is misleading when coupled to "unlimited" terminology. It should still be possible to use “unlimited”, provided any additional restrictions are clearly indicated and defined.

Sadly we do not expect the ASA or Ofcom to take a great deal of notice, after all this is hardly a new issue and both have had countless opportunities to address it. More @ Web-User.
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