The UK’s advertising watchdog has banned Virgin Media from claiming its top mobile tariff offers “unlimited” 3G data.
Seven people contacted the ASA to complain that their speeds were slashed once they’d used more than 3.5GB of their supposedly “unlimited” data bundle and said this meant the adverts were “misleading”.
Virgin Media told the ASA that customers could always access the internet regardless of how much data they used, but confirmed those downloading 3.5GB within a 30 day period would be slowed to speeds of 384kbps.
The ASA ruled that this was markedly less than the average 6.1Mbit/s enjoyed by UK smartphone users and so customers “were likely to notice the drop in speeds once the restriction was applied”.
In its ruling, the watchdog said: “Because we considered the limitation imposed on speeds to be more than moderate, we concluded that the claim “unlimited data” was misleading.”
Virgin Media has been told “not to claim that a service was ‘unlimited’ if the limitations that affected the speed or usage of the service were more than moderate.”