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Medium: Social Media (Company's Own Page)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 4.10, 4.27, 4.28, 4.29
A Facebook post by the advertisers referred to the following:
“Are you living in North Dublin? Good news! From Balbriggan to Baldoyle, Tyrellstown to Howth, SIRO 100 % fibre broadband is now available to more than 50,000 homes in North Dublin and coming soon to Donabate, Skerries, Rush & Lusk.
Search your Eircode today to see if your home is SIRO Ready”.
The complainant considered the advertising to be misleading in content as the broadband as advertised was not available to their home in North Dublin. When they checked availability using their Eircode as specified in the advertisement, they were advised that it was available to them. When the complainant tried to have the fibre broadband installed, however, and change broadband provider, they received numerous text messages from SIRO’s handling agency to inform them that their installation had been delayed due to a delay on works being completed.
The complainant queried why they had been informed that their home was SIRO ready when there was no connection available, and power lines from the mains on the road had to be connected to their home first before it was available to them.
The advertisers said they did not accept the premise of the compliant and they believed that their advertising had been accurate, clear, and factual. As stated in their Facebook post, they said that SIRO 100% fibre broadband was available to more than 50,000 homes in the North Dublin area. They said from the text messages which had been provided by the complainant, it appeared to be the case that their home had been passed by the SIRO network, i.e., their network was/is available for order to the complainant. Furthermore, they said, the complainant having ordered SIRO services through a retailer, were already in the process of having SIRO services installed. The connection process broadly involved running fibre optic cable from the electricity infrastructure on the street to the subscriber’s premises.
The advertisers said that each customer’s premises was unique, with differing infrastructure attributes and the installation of any broadband service had the potential to encounter challenges during the installation process, which may cause a delay with installation. The text messages sent to the complainant were part of their engagement process which they used to keep subscribers informed of the progression with their installation. The text messages were not an indication, however, that connection was not forthcoming.
Alongside the text messages the advertisers said they also had a customer support facility which responded to all relevant customer queries.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
The Complaints Committee noted that the advertisement had invited potential customers to use their Eircode to see if their home was SIRO “ready”. They considered that the word ‘ready’ in the context used, had the potential to mislead as no qualification had been provided to indicate that further work may have to be conducted prior to a customer being connected to the broadband service on offer. In the circumstances they considered that the advertisement had potential to mislead and was in breach of Sections 4.1 of the Code.
The advertisement should not appear in the same format again.
The Complaints Committee said that where a product installation could be dependent on-site related issues, attention should be drawn to this in advertising, by way of a qualification which refers to the installation being subject to site survey or similar.