2018-02-07

Only ISP guaranteeing no mid contract-price rises?

I just heard an advert on the radio which was very clear in stating that Talk Talk are the ONLY ISP that guarantees no mid-contract price rises...

This is rather puzzling, and perhaps worthy of report to ASA... Why?

1. Since at least Jan 2014 OFCOM rules are that ISPs (that is ALL ISPs, not just Talk Talk) cannot increase prices mid-contract, by which they mean "during the minimum term". So why on earth are Talk Talk claiming they are the only ISP with such a guarantee when literally every other UK ISP has the same guarantee! I don't recall A&A every increasing prices, and we have always had in our terms that an increase means you can leave before the end of minimum term if you wish, long before OFCOM rules came in. We sell some services with no minimum term, which makes it really simple that we guarantee no price rise during the minimum term!

2. They don't explain the other side of their guarantee. A guarantee has two key parts: (a) the thing that is guaranteed, and (b) the consequence of that not being the case. The OFCOM rules are that if you increase prices the customer is allowed out of the contract early, that is what the guarantee "pays out". Of course Talk Talk may have some better "pay out" on their guarantee - no idea what that is (does anyone know) which makes it better than the OFCOM mandated "guarantee", but it is wrong to say they are the only ones to offer a guarantee.

3. Like many adverts, people seem to misunderstand the word "contract". The "contract" is not the "minimum term", it is the agreement you have with the other party. That "contract" is on going - your broadband does not stop when you get to the end of the minimum term. So by guaranteeing no mid contract price rises they are basically guaranteeing no price rises ever, ongoing... I am not sure that was their intention, but as someone that does have a clue what the word "contact" means, that is what I would be saying to the judge if I ever sued them. Not that I buy retail broadband from Talk Talk myself.

Sadly the ASA have no real power, so no point reporting it really. At best, long after they have finished this advert run, they'll be told not to do it again. Oh well.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think the ASA care about such trivialities as "accuracy" these days. They are far too busy enforcing morality and ensuring that adverts align with various fashionable political causes.

    If you were able to convince them that Talk Talk's advert was fat-shaming or encouraged poor table manners, I'm sure they'd ban it in a heartbeat.

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