Virgin Media Accused Of Broadcasting Misleading Broadband Claims

UK's Advertising Standards Authority has criticised Broadband Provider Virgin Media for approving adverts that contained misleading data over connection speeds that its customers could expect to get.

Following a complaint by rival BSkyB, Virgin Media was challenged over a claim that appeared in national newspapers saying that "10 out of 10 homes with our fibre optic broadband can get 20Mb".

BSkyB uses traditional copper lines which can sustain up to 24Mbps on ADSL2+, although very few, if any, customers will ever reach this speed. The Broadband arm of Sky argued that Virgin Media could not have enough network capacity to sustain this claim.

In addition, Virgin Media also published a quote in their adverts saying that "70% of homes in the UK can't get 8Mb over BT phone lines”, quoting data obtained from broadband research firm Point Topic to support their claims.

The ASA has upheld both complaints, suggesting that prospective customers were more than likely to believe that they will reach 20Mbps speeds under all circumstances. Virgin was not able to substantiate its claims.

The cable provider was not issued any fines.

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Our Comments

Good to see the ASA recently have been getting more and more complaints about companies that ignore the truth or just outright lie. Virgin Media and indeed the rest of the industry need to be more attune as to finding ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors. On a brighter side, Virgin Media has also announced a number of new products which show that they can go in the right direction.

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