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Thursday, October 17, 2013

ASA upholds complaint against EE for T-Mobile UK coverage maps

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against EE after a customer complained about the accuracy of its T-Mobile UK online coverage maps.

After entering his home postcode into the web site, the customer saw that coverage was shown as ‘excellent’. However, in reality he had no mobile phone signal indoors and only a poor signal outside.

T-Mobile said its internal records didn’t show any problems with coverage at the customer’s postcode and pointed out that the coverage map stated ‘This map is only a guide and not a guarantee of service availability in a particular location’. Following the complaint, it sent engineers to the customer’s postcode and found that most coverage in that area was excellent although less than 2% of the area did have poorer coverage.

Upholding the complaint, the ASA noted that language used on the web site for coverage results was not conditional and considered that consumers would expect ‘excellent’ coverage in the postcode shown. Although it acknowledged T-Mobile had referred to factors that might affect coverage, it considered the online service didn’t make this clear enough.

As a result, the ASA ruled that the T-Mobile web site had breached the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) rules on misleading advertising, substantiation, qualification and exaggeration.

[ASA adjudication]

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