The advertising referred to the following:
“It's arrived! Be the first to experience Ireland's fastest broadband speed
Our Extreme fibre broadband delivers speeds up to 1,000Mb, that’s almost 10 times faster than our fibre broadband, and over 40 times faster than standard broadband with absolutely no usage limits…”
A link at the bottom of the webpage to the terms and conditions for all products referred to the fact that:
“…Eir Fibre packages with unlimited usage are subject to a Fair Usage policy of 1TB per month. Usage in excess of 1TB will be charged at €2.50(Inc. VAT) for every 10 GB up to maximum of €100 (Inc. VAT) per month.”
The complainant said he considered it to be misleading in this case to refer to broadband as “Unlimited” when the product clearly had a limit before additional costs were incurred by the customer. He said the customer may not be aware they were incurring extra costs unless they logged into their account. He said that while this information was contained within the terms and conditions, such important information should had been referenced in the main copy of the advertising.
The advertisers failed to respond to the complaint.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and expressed their concern at the advertisers’ failure to respond to the complaint. They reminded them that there is an onus on advertisers to ensure that their advertising is in conformity with the Code.
The Committee drew the advertisers’ attention to the fact that in previous adjudications concerning the telecommunications industry the Committee had reminded advertisers that where there was a Fair Usage Policy (FUP) in place that consumers should be informed of its existence and be able to access it easily. There should be a link between the headline ‘Unlimited’ claim and the reference to the FUP. In this case the marketing communication was on the advertisers’ website and while there was a link provided to the ‘terms and conditions’ at the end of the webpage, this was below the fold, not contained within the marketing communication and not immediately apparent to consumers. In addition, there was no specific reference to a FUP within the Marketing Communication. The Committee referred to Cases 22427 and 23214 where they found that consumers should be able to link directly from an online offer to the terms and conditions for the offer.
In the absence of a response from the advertisers and the fact that they had failed to demonstrate that they had clearly identified the existence of their fair usage policy, the Committee considered the advertisement to be in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4 and 4.9 of the Code.
The advertisement should not be used in the same format again.