BT has been warned by ASA, the advertising watchdog, for misleading people about how long it will be until they will get superfast broadband in their homes.
Complaints were made about a postcode checker available on the BT website and on the website of its Openreach division. In a number of instances the checker gave an estimate as to when fibre optic broadband would be available, only for that estimate to be put back repeatedly.
Openreach, the wholesaler that is supposed to provide services to all the phone companies, argued that the dates had to change because of circumstances outside its direct control.
However, the ASA ruled that “although the original advertised dates were based on a likely estimated timescale to completion, the revised dates were likely to mislead consumers, because they were not based on an analysis of how long the delays might possibly take. “We therefore concluded that the revised dates presented on both availability checkers were misleading.”
The advertising watchdog told Openreach to ensure estimated dates are more accurate and told BT Consumer not to display dates on its checker unless it could substantiate that Openreach was using a robust method to calculate those dates.