TalkTalk 'free YouView' adverts banned

Broadband provider has been warned against "misleading" claims over internet TV box that costs £50 for an engineer to do installation.

TalkTalk adverts for the YouView internet TV platform have been banned for "misleading" the public, following complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Advertising its TalkTalk Plus TV bundle on television and on leaflets put through letterboxes, the broadband and phone provider claimed a YouView TV box was "free" to customers when they may actually be charged £50 for installation.

The ASA concluded: "We agreed that one-off upfront costs, for example to buy equipment necessary to use a free item or for a connection fee payable to a third party, would not negate claims that a product or service was 'free'.

"However, we considered in this situation, because the fee was payable to TalkTalk and not a third party, that situation did not apply."

A TalkTalk spokesperson told broadbandchoices.co.uk: "This ruling has no impact on advertising of our market-leading offer of a free YouView box to TalkTalk Plus TV customers, as customers now have the choice to install the set-top box themselves.

"We have always made clear reference to the fact that our engineer installation is charged at £50 in all our marketing to date, but we're grateful to the ASA for clarifying this technical point. TalkTalk remains the best value way for customers to get YouView."

Last month, broadband provider Virgin Media was also rapped by the ASA for "misleading" the public, by advertising "unlimited" broadband while using "more than moderate" traffic management to penalise customers who download too much.

Perhaps as a result, Virgin Media announced yesterday it has altered its traffic management policy, making it "more flexible and responsive" with lighter penalties for excessive usage.

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