The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs, the ad self-regulatory body, has advised Comcast to drop a host of claims about its "unlimited" and "best price" advertising for its Xfinity 5G mobile plans. Comcast said it would comply.
The claims were challenged by T-Mobile.
Those claims are:
1. “Unlimited 5G”
2. “Break free from the big three” carriers and “get the best price for Unlimited 5G”
3. “[G]et the best Unlimited price”
4. “Xfinity Mobile now has the best price for Unlimited 5G”
5. “Switch to Xfinity Mobile and get the best price for Unlimited”
6. “Get the best price on Unlimited data”
7. “Get Unlimited 5G for $30/mo per line”
8. “Get four lines of Unlimited 5G data for just $30/mo each with our new pricing”
9. “Get 4 lines of Unlimited 5G data for just $30/line/mo”
10. “The more lines you add, the more you save with our new plan pricing.”
NAD said the "unlimited 5G" claim delivers the specific message that customers get unlimited data at 5G speeds when customers only get access to 5G speeds up to 20 GB of data, after which the data is limited to 3G speeds. And while Comcast does "sometimes" include a disclaimer about "reduced speeds after 20GB of use," NAD said that does not cure the misleading initial claim because it is like saying "unlimited" service with a disclaimer that it is not unlimited.
As to the "best price" claims, NAD said that the message that a four-line plan costs less than the four-line plan of its competitors was unsupported given that the price was $30 per line and T-Mobile had a promotional price of $26 per line for its service. NAD said that issue might be cured by a caveat that Comcast was excluding promotional pricing from the comparison.
Comcast said it can come up with an "appropriate" disclaimer that will "make clear to consumers the basis of comparison (including comparisons which exclude temporary promotional pricing) and will comply with NAD’s recommendation in future advertising.”
Cable and telecom operators regularly challenge each other's ad claims before NAD. ■
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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