T-Mobile’s online, press and poster campaign that described its inclusive data deals as ‘truly unlimited internet’ have been blocked by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority.
Each of the advertisements talked about ‘truly unlimited internet’ but contained terms & conditions that said the mobile phone couldn’t be used for ‘tethering’ as a modem, for peer-to-peer file sharing or for making VoIP telephone calls. Nine people contacted the ASA to say the ‘truly unlimited’ claim was misleading because of the restrictions.
Everything Everywhere, T-Mobile’s parent company, said its ‘truly unlimited internet’ deals differed from other mobile internet plans that had a fixed data allowance or a fair use policy. It said the exclusions were for unusual types of usage, with most of their customers using the internet on their phone for simple web browsing.
However, the ASA upheld the complaints. It said ‘Truly Unlimited Internet’ was a very strong claim and that exclusions would be contrary to a consumer’s expectations. As a result, it felt the information in the small print contradicted the headline claim - and this meant the headline was misleading.