Most People in the UK Don’t Trust Broadband Adverts

People living in the UK are finding it difficult to take ISPs at their word, a survey has revealed.

The study done by Broadband Genie, surveyed around 1400 broadband users and found that around 60% did not feel that what there were offered on paper was what they received in reality. The majority of adverts will give a certain speed as the maximum possible or ‘up to’ speed but, according the Advertising Standards Authority, only one in ten people receive the top speeds.

The survey also asked in a different segment whether people felt like they had been misled by adverts and only 40% said no. Out of the participants who felt like they had been misled, 74% indicated that it was on the subject of download speeds.

34% felt that the cost was more expensive then they had been led to believe and one quarter took issue with various one-off fees such as installation costs that they were not made aware of. 5% said they were promised a free gift as a signing on bonus but felt deceived when they never received it.

Rob Hilborn, who is the head of strategy at Broadband Genie made his feelings clear that advertising should be as transparent as possible. “There is still a lot of confusion around advertising within the broadband industry,” he said.

“It’s a technical product and some of the jargon can confuse the average user. It certainly doesn’t help that information on speed isn’t accurate to the individual user.”

“Trust in broadband advertising is a major problem, but the new rules coming later this year are definitely a step in the right direction. Consumers will start to see a more accurate representation of the speeds actually available to their homes and businesses, hopefully restoring trust between provider and consumer.”

Hilborn here is referring to new rules from the Committee of Advertising Practises which stipulates that ISPs can only advertise top speeds that at least one half of consumers can achieve. Service providers have been given until May to make the necessary changes.

Various Telecoms companies agreed in November to offer reimbursement for bad service which can range internet going down to late maintenance or setup. Ofcom, the UK telecoms watchdog has said that Sky, BT, TalkTalk, Zen and Virgin Media have all entered into this agreement. Between them these companies hold 90% of the market share.

The new compensation scheme will not go into effect until next year due to various complicated alterations needed regarding account and billing systems. Ofcom has also said they are aiming to reduce charges for consumers while increasing them for ISP’s who do not live up to their promises.

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