Advertising watchdog: 250MB is unlimited
By Barry Collins
Posted on 14 Jan 2009 at 08:28
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has once again given mobile companies the green light to bandy about the word "unlimited" on deals with strict data limits.
A national press advert by Carphone Warehouse spin-off e2save promised "unlimited data" on a contract for the BlackBerry 9000 Bold.
The advert sparked a complaint from a member of the public, who discovered a footnote at the bottom of the ad stating the data was limited to 250MB per month.
The complainant argued the unlimited claim was misleading, as it was clearly contradicted by the 250MB limit, but once again the ASA has failed to uphold the complaint.
e2save cited data from network provider, Orange, that showed the "250MB monthly usage limit was far in excess of the amount of data that an average customer would use".
The company claimed 1MB of mobile data would cover "160 WAP pages, 100 short emails, four video clips or three music tracks".
Quite where the company got those figures from is a mystery: a three-minute MP3 track encoded at 128Kb/sec usally consumes around 3-5MB by itself. Not to mention the fact that the BlackBerry Bold has a full web browser, so users are highly unlikely to be accessing the stripped-down WAP pages anyway.
Nevertheless, it was enough to satisfy the ASA, who agreed "that the vast majority of customers were unaffected by the data limit, and we therefore concluded that the fair usage policy did not contradict the claim 'includes unlimited data'".
The ASA did, however, uphold its own complaint against the ad, for failing to mention the 250MB "fair usage policy" more clearly.
The ASA has long been criticised for allowing broadband companies to advertise "unlimited" deals that have set limits (not least by PC Pro).
Last October, a survey from Uswitch found that 86% of people who had signed up for an "unlimited" deal didn't realise that fair-usage policies and limits applied to their contract.
Is your business a social business? For helpful info and tips visit our hub.
- iPhone 6 release date, rumours, specs and features: when will the iPhone 6 come out in the UK?
- Google's self-driving cars can speed... "for safety reasons"
- Nokia Lumia 530 UK release date and price revealed
- Goodbye Chromebooks? Specs leak for $199 HP Stream
- Would you let your child sign up for a Google account?
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy