BROADBAND PROVIDER Talk Talk has had its wrists slapped by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) because its internet speed checking tool was misleading customers.
An adjudication report published today followed a customer complaint made on 10 December last year that the speed checking utility on Talk Talk's web site was overestimating speeds customers were capable of receiving.
The complainant said that the speed checker had estimated his broadband speed at 3.8Mbit/s. However, the customer had in fact been informed "that the actual maximum speed available to him was less than 2.1Mbit/s, the adjudication found.
Talk Talk argued that its speed checker complied with the voluntary code of practice that obliges all UK ISPs to provide a clear explanation of the differences between network measured line speed and the actual throughput customers will get via its "how do we estimate your speed?" disclaimer that pops-up in a seperate window.
However, the ASA said that the disclaimer "must not appear again in its current form" because Talk Talk had "not seen directly relevant evidence to support the impression that was likely to be taken from the ad - that the speed checker was indicative of the likely actual throughput speeds consumers would achieve in the majority of cases - we concluded that the ad breached the [advertising] Code."
The adjudication concluded, "We told [Talk Talk] to ensure their speed checker results were more clearly qualified in future."
A Talk Talk spokesperson told The INQUIRER that the firm was "grateful for the guidance" provided by the ASA and that the prominence of the speed checker "demonstrates our commitment to being completely transparent with our customers about the speeds they can achieve." µ