We all know that ads exaggerate. After all, persuasion is their job. But when a broadband company advertises download speeds up “up to” 8Mbps, it’s fair to expect something at least close to that.
But a study earlier this year found that 62% of users were surfing at less than half the speeds they’d been led to believe, and that hasn’t sat well with government watchdog Ofcom.
It’s told broadband companies that they could face formal action unless they clean up their advertising act, according to the BBC. Customers will have to be given much clearer information on speeds, and have the chance to back out of a contract if they discover them to be significantly less than advertised.
These are all part of new guidelines set to come into force during 2008, including a mandatory code of practice. "This code would establish agreed processes to give the customer the bestinformation during and after the sales process, and to give them flexibility to move freely to different packages that reflect the actual speeds with which their ISPs are able to provide them,"said Colette Bowe, chairperson of the panel that came up with the recommendations. The panel also planned to ask the Advertising Standards Authority tomake sure broadband advertising included factors that could slow speeds, such as the use of baby monitors.