Changes on how broadband providers advertise their deals are due to start from November 2016.

Until recently, broadband providers could advertise offers without including details of line rental costs in the main headline. This meant that customers found it hard to determine the overall cost of a broadband package.

Joint research by the Advertising Standards Authority and Ofcom (the communications regulator) revealed that customers found it hard to identify the correct monthly cost. Meaning that they could be misled.

“We recognise the importance of broadband services to people’s lives at work and at home. The findings of our research, and other factors we took into account, showed the way prices have been presented in broadband ads is likely to confuse and mislead customers.”

Guy Parker, Chief Executive, ASA

Any broadband deal advertised from November 2016 onwards must:

  • Show all-inclusive up-front and monthly costs; no more separating out line rental
  • Give greater prominence for the contract length and any post-discount pricing
  • Give greater prominence for up-front costs

Source: ASA.org.uk

This means that the monthly cost that you see is what you’ll pay. So you’re unlikely to see any reference to ‘line rental’ in future broadband adverts.  What you will notice is an increase in the typical monthly cost for your broadband – as it now includes the line rental element.

Any other upfront charges must also be made clear. This is to help customers understand the total costs.

 “Ofcom wants to see clear and accurate broadband prices for consumers. Our research with the ASA shows many people are confused by complicated adverts and offers, so we welcome the ASA’s plans to simplify broadband advertising.”

Sharon White, Chief Executive, Ofcom

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