Broadband, phone and energy provider Utility Warehouse have been made to taken down an ad on their website that the Advertising Trading Authority (ATA) had deemed ‘misleading’.
The advert in question claimed that the company had on offer “the UK’s best value mobile”. The company has come forward and defended the accuracy of the advert by claiming that the statement should be looked at in the context of several specific benefits offered by Utility Warehouse, including free 4G upgrades and a guarantee of no price hikes mid-contract. The ASA ruled that the claims “best value mobile” would lead customers to believe that the claim was referring to the basic elements of a phone contract such as minutes and mobile data.
The ASA ruled as follows: “We noted that one of Utility Warehouse’s competitors offered more data for the same price tariff and that another competitor offered more data as well as unlimited calls and texts for less than Utility Warehouse. We therefore considered that consumers would regard those tariffs as offering better value than the advertised tariffs.”
This isn’t the first time that Utility Warehouse have been accused of false advertising. Last year a campaign promoted by Joanna Lumley offered a potential get rich quick scheme through which one could potentially earn thousands of pounds. The scheme, which had to be bought in to, involved earning commission for signing up new customers to Utility Warehouse. After an investigation by Guardian Money however it was highlighted that the average amount of money received through the scheme was somewhere around the £20 per month mark.
Utility Warehouse commented on the findings, saying “we are presenting illustrations of what is achievable by potential new partners, as opposed to any form of guaranteed income” and stressed the variation in the amounts that people can earn based on the different levels of engagement.