We’re welcoming a big win for our Broadband Speed Guaranteed campaign today as the advertising watchdog announces changes to broadband ad rule standards.
The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), which sets advertising guidelines for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to implement, has announced that from May 2018 broadband providers will be required to change their advertising practices when it comes to speed claims.
This is a big win for our Broadband Speed Guaranteed campaign and the 127,000 people who’ve backed and followed this campaign since 2014.
As part of our campaign, we called on CAP to look into this and it agreed, consulting on proposals to implement tougher standards for advertising speed claims. CAP supported our recommendation to make the headline advertised speed an average of what people can expect to get in their homes at peak times.
It also concluded that the headline advertised speed should be achievable by at least 50% of customers – a grand improvement on the current 10% level.
Our Managing Director of Home Products and Services, Alex Neill, said:
‘Millions of households are currently experiencing broadband speeds that just don’t live up to their expectations and unrealistic adverts showing speeds you're never likely to get don't help.
‘Which? has been campaigning for action on this, so it is good to see people may finally see the speeds they could achieve before they sign up to a deal.’
While today will go some way to crackdown on misleading broadband speed ads, our work on broadband is far from finished.
While we’ve concluded our work on advertising speed, broadband remains an essential part of modern life and yet many aren’t getting the service that’s needed. Earlier this year we launched our Fix Bad Broadband campaign in April to identify and tackle the barriers to accessing broadband and getting a reliable service.
Today we’ve welcomed a huge win for our broadband campaign as Ofcom has revealed plans for automatic compensation to be introduced across the broadband and landline market.
Currently, BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet have signed up to this scheme. While these providers serve 90% of landline and broadband customers in the UK we want to see all providers signed up.
In recent years broadband has increasingly been seen as a third utility, and a vital one at that. People now value it just as much as energy or water. While expectations are rising, satisfaction is falling.
In our latest broadband customer satisfaction survey, only two providers achieved above the 70% satisfaction mark. And it would appear that the regulator would agree with this sentiment, it noted that that telecoms companies haven’t kept pace with customers’ needs when it comes down to the quality of service.
That’s why we have been campaigning for automatic compensation across a number of sectors, including the broadband and landline market. We believe that you’re let down by your provider, you should be adequately compensated without having to jump through hoops.
Our managing director of home and legal services, Alex Neill, said:
‘We are pleased that compensation for poor broadband is going to become automatic, as it is now such an essential part of all of our everyday lives.
‘For all consumers to get what they’re entitled to, it’s vital that all providers play fair and sign up to this scheme.’
Ofcom’s plans will see customers automatically compensated for slow repairs, missed appointments and delayed installations. It will be a standard compensation amount across providers, and auto-compensation means that you will be credited with without having to ask for it.
Getting better broadband
While today should be welcome news for those who are left frustrated by shoddy service from their broadband and landline provider, we need reassurance that all providers will play fair and sign up to this compensation scheme.
The regulator believes consumers will benefit from up to £142 million per year in automatic compensation payments, but fundamentally it’s important that this compensation acts as an incentive for providers improve their service levels and deliver genuinely better customer experience.