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ASA Slaps RedTen for Unlimited Broadband Advert

Posted: 23rd Jul, 2008 By: MarkJ
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld two complaints against an advert for the defunct free laptop and broadband offering UK ISP RedTen Internet, which effectively collapsed last month only to resurface as Fatcat Internet (related news) a few days later.

RedTen's advert heavily promoted its products as being able to offer "unlimited broadband", "unlimited internet downloads" and a "free upgrade to 24Mb broadband". Customers challenged whether the claims were misleading because their downloads had been capped at 5 GB or 15 GB and on reaching that limit their service was reduced to dial up speed.

Naturally, given that RedTen has now vanished, the ASA upheld both complaints but like so many of its customers they were unable to gain a response from the ISP:

The ASA was concerned by Redtens lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code clause 2.6 (Non-response). We reminded them of their obligations under the Code and told them to respond promptly in future.

We understood that Redten had recently changed broadband provider. We noted complainants had since reported that their downloads had been capped at 5 GB or 15 GB and when that point was reached their service was reduced to dial-up speed. We also noted the ad stated that the broadband package was subject to a fair usage policy. Because we had not seen evidence to show that the download cap excluded only atypical users, or that customers were able to obtain an upgrade to 24 Mb free of charge, we concluded that the claims "Unlimited broadband", "Unlimited downloads" and "Free upgrade to 24Mb broadband" were misleading.

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