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Clamp down on misleading broadband ads good news for consumers

21 January 2016

Citizens Advice has today backed a commitment by the Advertising Standards Authoority (ASA) to clamp down on misleading broadband advertisements.

The national charity has been leading the call for broadband providers to make their adverts clearer and more upfront. It published research last year showing customers can pay up to six-and-a-half times more a month for broadband than advertised.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“Misleading broadband ads have been duping consumers for too long.

“Burying the cost of line rental in the small print of adverts or not properly explaining the duration of a contract are blatant attempts to mislead people. It is confusing and makes it difficult for consumers to know how much they’ll be charged or to compare deals from across the market.

“Our evidence shows some people are paying up to six-and-a-half times more for broadband than advertised, customers are being promised one thing, and charged for another.

“It is good the Advertising Standards Authority has listened to consumers’ concerns. If the ASA can get broadband providers to advertise all-inclusive up-front costs and make contract lengths clear it will help consumers make informed choices.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.