An advert for mobile phone network Three has been banned by the Advertising Standards Agency for not mentioning the service might raise prices mid-contract.
The leaflet advertised the network’s One Plan for £30 a month, but didn’t clarify that its terms and conditions allows Three to raise its monthly prices during the contract without customers having the option to leave without penalty.
The ASA ruled that customers would see the price as a major selling point and the fact it was associated with the length of the contract suggested that this would be the price for the full length of the contract.
Which? launched the Fixed Means Fixed campaign in July to pressure operators and the regulator, Ofcom, to put a stop to mid-term contract price rises. Visit our Fixed Means Fixed information page to support our campaign and learn more.
Which?: ASA ruling is a ‘win for consumers’
A Which? spokesperson said, ‘This ruling is a win for consumers who are fed up with being sold ‘fixed’ mobile phone contracts that can increase in price at any time. Advertising should be clear so that people are aware that prices, and other aspects of their deal, could change.
‘We also hope Ofcom listens to the 36,000 people who have already signed up to our Fixed Means Fixed campaign and acts swiftly. Mobile phone companies should be made to drop hidden clauses in their contracts that allow them to hit consumers with millions of pounds worth of unexpected price increases. People must be confident that fixed really does mean fixed.’
Three has been instructed not to run the advert in its current form again.
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