Thursday, 1 May 2014

BT advert

So, my latest ASA complaint, which they will no doubt ignore:

Advert states verbally "*no-one* gives you a more reliable wireless signal than BT" and shows on screen "UNBEATABLE WIRELESS SIGNAL".

This is factually untrue as other ISPs such as my employer (Andrews & Arnold Ltd) offer broadband packages with a three pack of Unifi WiFi access points. By using three access points the signal is more reliable over the area of a home or office as devices can switch seamlessly between them to maintain the best signal. This means other providers are offering a more reliable wireless signal than BT.

My issue here really is that the advert makes no sense. They are selling a "broadband" service, but selling based solely on the specific type of device they happen to supply on the end of that service. There is nothing stopping anyone buying access points to ensure good wireless signal in their home/office completely independently of their broadband service. It is like BBC1 advertising the biggest TV sets or some such.

If you can't sell a service based on the merits of the actual service itself, then you have lost the plot I think.

21 comments:

  1. I think I've spotted it - "gives", BT-meaning being "includes as standard", rather than at extra cost.

    Still, their wording does more imply that better is impossible, which is not true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, but A&A or any other ISP can "include as standard" in a package (a more expensive package) more than one AP. If the complaint is not upheld because of that we'll just launch WiFi::1 or some such which, "as standard" gives three APs.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'd rather you launched a "home" product that allows me to stream lots of blinboxy type stuff not tie me to limited downloads :-)

    Seriously though people with crappy lines that play up regularly and need the likes of "specialists" like A&A to champion them should be what BT spends some money on!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Why not set up a company and advertise "Better Wifi than BT"

    If they complain then you will get to debate it with the ASA

    If not then you might have another great company

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes, this has been bugging me for ages - in fact just today I went to someone's home - a large, old, and complex to get good Wi-Fi type of home. They had been considering switching to BT because it is supposedly the "best" - fortunately I have a home-crap (sorry, hub) in my demo kit to show people how awful it is.

    They're now having us professionally install proper wireless for them throughout the house.

    I think BT's claim is totally baseless, but even if the advert gets banned, it's too late because the message has been given - that's the issue with the ASA - it needs to have the power to force them to do adverts of equal length and duration etc when they're found to be telling porkies or unable to prove claims - that would quickly clear up the marketing bull.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed. People think they cannot get faster broadband (why not bond lines) or better wifi (than one AP with router) and do not realise the claims made are bogus. Even without a professional installation, an bit of work can make WiFi way better with a couple of APs, and if you can afford a professional then even better.

      Delete
  6. The ASA really should be making offenders run similarly high profile ads telling people they were lying, rather than just banning an ad that was probably about to be retired anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Been bugging me for a while too: http://www.ianfitter.com/blog/2010/02/27/bt-broadband-advert-wireless-nonsense/

    ReplyDelete
  8. A colleague switched from BT to TalkTalk recently, then got a nasty shock from just how lousy the TT freebie access point was - big old house with thick walls, so too much of a struggle. The irony is, he had a struggle to get BT to take the old home-thing away (thinking he didn't need it) ... then wondered why the PC in the other room no longer had network access.

    So, I do have a tiny bit of sympathy to BT on this - their cheap and nasty access points do happen to be less horrendous than most of the others in that market segments. Lousy adverts, though, and you're right that it's pretty much an admission of defeat on the actual service being promoted!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Can't wait for BT to promote 801.11ac with "Up to 1Gbps" Wifi backed by ADSL broadband.....

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have put this as a check box on the Home::1 orders - three pack of UniFi Pro APs at £500 extra. Expensive, but "more reliable wifi" than BT, so proves a point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just how man people do you think are going to pay 500 quid for three APs, each of which you have to get cabled ethernet to? Almost as expensive as a Firebrick.

      Delete
    2. I expect very few would, to be honest, but some will. There are people that do want "proper" WiFi in a house which is old / large / thick walled / etc. The only real way to do that is a more "enterprise" WiFi solution which the UniFi does pretty well at in terms of cost and features. Obviously a "professional survey and installation" is better but even more expensive. The nice thing is that you can sort your WiFi properly regardless of your ongoing choice of ISP. £500 is a lot, but people spend money on furniture, and large TVs and all sorts in larger houses that cost way more - it is an investment in infrastructure for the house, and nothing to do with buying broadband really!

      Delete
    3. I understand it's an investment in the house infrastructure, but most people don't. I bought three Apple Airport Extremes to do much the same job as the Ubiquitis, and they came out at a similar price. Unfortunately due to misleading advertising by people like BT, most people now expect good wifi to come free with their broadband.

      Delete
    4. A flat or small modern house with stud walls would probably be fine with a single AP, but a lot of places need two. The apple airport express are pretty good - until we found the unifi, they were what we would recommend, and have the audio output too. Misleading adverts do not help this, definitely!

      Delete
  11. I feel you should be a bit careful how much mud you sling here Rev. The wifi from the TG582n supplied as default with Home::1 is truly awful, I'd disabled it in the web UI within hours of getting the thing. The TG582n is pretty rubbish all round, I'm trying to work out how to remove it completely. It's one saving grace is that it does IPv6 but it has nothing else to recommend it (except presumably being dirt cheap).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not saying the TG582n is better than BT am I? As far as I know it is a perfectly adequate WiFi, but I would not suggest it is the best, and I'll take your word for it. I am also not saying we do "better than BT at the same price". My point is (a) that BT make a factually incorrect claim (their claim does not relate to price), and (b) that they are making claims about their broadband service based not on that service but on the choice of WiFi box, which seems just crazy to me.

      Delete
    2. I had an O2 Wireless Box II, which was a badged TG585v7 when I was with O2. That had what I call adequate wifi, it was only b/g to 54mbps but it had reasonable range and reliability. I used it to run my 'g' 2.4 GHz network before I moved to A&A. The TG582n's wifi has neither range nor reliability, and I don't regard it as adequate for anything I'm afraid. Someone did a strip down online, and there's no wifi antenna in the TG582n just a socket on the PCB where one should be connected. That's probably the cause of the problems.

      Delete
    3. That is interesting feedback Owen.

      Delete
  12. In fact there is a known problem with the BT home hub 4 where it has wifi drop-out.
    I paid £35 to BT to upgrade my home hub 3 to a 4 when they first came out because the 3 would just drop out. The 4 lasted a month before it started to drop out. Despite many scans, there were / are no other devices within +/-4 channels of it. (I'm talking about 2.4GHz as most of our kit is 2.4GHz only.)
    I ended up going back to my d-link 8200 pro A/P. Its not N but it works very well. I flashed the firmware in the FTTC box and turned it into a router. It now is much more reliable.

    I recently found out that the Huawei Box can also work as a standard ADSL Router.

    Here is the link to the site that helped me hack mine.

    If you are worried about killing your box, you can buy them on ebay for about £15
    http://huaweihg612hacking.wordpress.com/about/

    ReplyDelete