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New rules force broadband providers to make pricing clearer in adverts

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Broadband

New rules have come into effect which will force broadband suppliers to make pricing much clearer in their advertising.

Changes brought in by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) mean companies can no longer separate line rental from the monthly cost of an internet connection when advertising their services.

Broadband providers have also been told to give greater prominence to contract lengths and post-discount pricing, and ensure upfront costs are made clear.

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The new rules, designed to ensure customers aren't misled, were originally set to come into force back in May, but providers requested more time to implement the changes.

ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: "Broadband is a service we all take for granted. That's why some people can get frustrated when they sign-up to a package after seeing an ad, only to find their bills are higher than expected.

"Our research found people are likely to be confused and misled by the fixed broadband price claims in ads they see and we've responded by tightening our approach.

"From today, we expect to see a change in how broadband providers advertise their prices. The effect should be a real positive difference in how consumers understand and engage with ads for broadband services."

Research conducted by the ASA and Ofcom last year, showed most users could not correctly calculate bills based on information provided by a selection of adverts, leading to the new rules being set.

The ammendments only affect how pricing is detailed in advertising, and do not relate to how providers can advertise certain speeds.

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Let us know what you think of the changes in the comments.

Bugblatter

October 31, 2016, 12:50 pm

Perhaps this will drive the line rental cost down, it seems to have got to a bit of a silly level, probably because it was the more hidden charge. Seriously, £19pm just to have a phone line? It's like they're trying to push us all to mobile.

toboev

October 31, 2016, 6:24 pm

It would be unthinkable that you would pay full price for a bottle of wine "up to" 750ml, regardless of the true amount in the bottle. How does the industry get away with it? Ofcom?!

With half a brain and some grit it has generally been possible to discern the price, but knowing what service you will actually get is all but impossible. Ofcom seems to be chasing the less important problem.

iFrank

October 31, 2016, 7:38 pm

Yeh, But they have to get back the £836 million they invested in football TV rights, forcing up the cost of viewing for everyone. Funny thing, competition theory in capitalism.
And the beautiful sucker punch is, to get broadband you must have a landline!

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