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    BT Get TalkTalk Super Router Ad Banned for Misleading Performance Claim

    This is a discussion on BT Get TalkTalk Super Router Ad Banned for Misleading Performance Claim within the General Computing and Internet forums, part of the Community channel category; BT Get TalkTalk Super Router Ad Banned for Misleading Performance Claim - ISPreview UK The Advertising Standards Authority has banned ...

    1. #1
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      BT Get TalkTalk Super Router Ad Banned for Misleading Performance Claim

      BT Get TalkTalk Super Router Ad Banned for Misleading Performance Claim - ISPreview UK
      The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a website advert for TalkTalk’s Super Router (Huawei HG633 / HG635) hardware after BT complained that the device was making misleading performance claims, such as one that boasted of delivering “the strongest signal and fastest speeds in the UK.”

      At this point we note that BT’s complaint, which relates to TalkTalk’s own product page for the device, appears to date back to May 2015 and we should add that this is about the point when the ISP quietly changed their Super Router from using the HG635 to the HG633 (here). The HG633 came with improved WiFi performance, but it abandoned the HG635’s Gigabit LAN ports.

      Otherwise the related page made several bold claims about the router, such as to highlight its alleged “Market leading signal strength“, “provides a stronger signal than BT, Virgin, Sky and EE“, “Fastest speeds in the UK“, “the strongest signal and fastest speeds in the UK“, “on average, 56% faster speeds than routers from the other big providers” and “Reaches parts of your home that the best routers from the other big providers can’t“.

      At the time of writing the ISP still appears to be making many of the same claims (here), which we’ve retained below as a screenshot for posterity.

      BT complained that sufficient information had not been provided to verify the claims and that the comparisons themselves were misleading. But TalkTalk countered that they had commissioned an independent test facility to conduct the benchmarking, which they said supported their claims and was available via a “consumer friendly” report published on their website.

      However the ASA found that the benchmarking report didn’t contain enough information to verify all their claims and that it was also hard to find. On top of that they ruled that the benchmarking was not extensive enough and that the “test had been limited to the transfer of a large file and the router had not been tested for normal user tasks.

      ASA Ruling (REF: A15-305012)

      We welcomed TalkTalk’s assurance that they would amend the fastest speed claims to state fastest ‘wireless’ speeds. However, the claim “Fastest speeds in the UK” was an absolute claim that the Super Router performed better than its competitors, but because it was based on an average and the results showed that, as with signal strength, the router performed better with the 2.4 Ghz than with the other two Wi-Fi types tested, we considered that the advertising should have made clear that the claim referred to the average fastest (wireless) speed and, as it did not, it was likely to mislead.

      Although we understood the method of calculation, it was also unclear how TalkTalk reached the conclusion that the Super Router was “on average, 56% faster speeds than routers from the other big providers”, because the figures appeared to show that the average was less than 50% faster.

      We considered that in order to make a general superiority claim, the testing needed to be representative of the activities that users generally performed. However, we noted the test had been limited to the transfer of a large file and the router had not been tested for normal user tasks such as video or voice streaming, transfer of a large number of small files or opening a web page. Although we understood that it was easier to measure and compare speed using a large file, we nonetheless considered that the testing should also have included tests covering general usage patterns. In addition, it was unclear from the test report what steps were taken to ensure that external interference remained comparable for tests on all the different routers and what was done to ensure reasonable placement of the routers in case they exhibited directionality.

      For the reasons stated above, we considered that the substantiation was not suitably robust to support the claims made in the advertising and concluded that the claims “Market leading signal strength”, “Our Super Router provides a stronger signal than BT, Virgin, Sky and EE”, “Fastest speeds in the UK”, “TalkTalk’s new Super Router delivers the strongest signal and fastest speeds in the UK”, “on average, 56% faster speeds than routers from the other big providers” and “Reaches parts of your home that the best routers from the other big providers can’t” were likely to mislead.
      As usual the ASA banned the advert and told TalkTalk to ensure that their claims accurately reflect the evidence intended to substantiate them and to ensure that they provided sufficient information to enable consumers to verify comparisons.

      It’s also worth pointing out that TalkTalk’s benchmarking was update again earlier this year based on a study conducted in late June 2015 (here), although since then Virgin Media has begun circulating a new SuperHub 3 router to new subscribers and Sky Broadband has introduced their new Sky Q Hub. Suffice to say that TalkTalk’s claims have yet to reflect this new kit.
      Comment: The toothless wonder is still sucking on it's pacifier.


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      Re: BT Get TalkTalk Super Router Ad Banned for Misleading Performance Claim

      Quote Originally Posted by Scubbie View Post
      BT Get TalkTalk Super Router Ad Banned for Misleading Performance Claim - ISPreview UK


      Comment: The toothless wonder is still sucking on it's pacifier.
      Talk about call the kettle black BT one of the worst for force claims and hiding things in small print you need a magnifier glass to see if its there at all.


      Nobody is Perfect.....I am Nobody....Therefore I am Perfect

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      Re: BT Get TalkTalk Super Router Ad Banned for Misleading Performance Claim

      None of the major ISPs are innocent.

      Whilst I have no doubt that they would ultimately pass of the fines to their customers by raising the monthly fees, I do believe that they should be fined a figure that reflects how many people signed up to their service during the time such adverts were being used.

      This would ultimately discourage them from misleading the customers as they'd lose any financial benefit in gaining them in the first place.

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