United Kingdom customers being sold false broadband speeds

United Kingdom customers being sold false broadband speeds

The watchdog has analysed 235,000 users, noting their internet speeds and what was advertised and, eventually, sold to them.

As an example, if you're paying for speeds of up to 38Mbps then the likelihood is that you're actually only getting 19Mbps which is not great. That is 51 per cent slower than in the ad messages.

The closest actual average speed to that reportedly advertised for "up to 50Mbps" where users received just under a third of that - an average 35 Mbps.

Most UK consumers are getting value from their phone and broadband services overall, but their are areas where they could get better value for money, according to Ofcom's latest annual report on pricing trends for residential phone, broadband and TV services.

Under the new ASA rules, due to come into effect next Wednesday, broadband providers can no longer advertise "up to" speeds which are available to just 10 per cent of customers.

An Ofcom spokesman says: 'You don't always need to pay more to get faster speeds - many people who are out of contract could upgrade their broadband package, often at no greater cost. As shown by the results of Which's research, until now, the rules have been much more lenient, allowing companies to advertise speeds that are available to only 10% of customers. Managing Director of Home Services.

Alex Neill, Which? MD of Home Services, said: "This change in the rules is good news for customers who have been continuously been let down by unrealistic adverts and broadband speeds that won't ever live up to expectations".

Ofcom says major providers are ripping off four million households by charging for standard tariffs double what they demand for "superfast" deals.

"Customers need clear, concise and accurate information in order to make an informed choice".

The regulator said this is particularly relevant to BT ADSL customers who are not in a promotional discount period.

For example, the non-discounted price for BT's standard broadband service is £42.99, almost twice the price of of its superfast service, which start at £24.99 on an 18-month contract, or £35.99 for an unlimited service.

Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at broadband advice site Cable.co.uk, points out that Which's findings are very different from Ofcom's most recent testing, saying he finds them "odd". Ofcom estimates that around 1.5 million pay-monthly mobile customers whose contract includes a handset are still paying the same price after their minimum contract period has ended.

Related Articles