Research by broadband comparison website Broadband Genie has discovered over two thirds (62 per cent) of the public do not feel broadband advertising is honest; while 30 per cent believe they have been misled by it.
Speed was identified as the area where most (74 per cent) felt misled. Current rules allow broadband providers to advertise a maximum speed even if they can only offer it to 10 per cent of potential customers. But new guidelines set to come into effect in May will mean ISPs have to display the speed available to at least 50 per cent of connections at peak times.
However, there also appears to be widespread confusion among broadband consumers about the services they already pay for: more than a quarter (29 per cent) said they do not know the advertised download speed of their connection, and 21 per cent do not know what type of home broadband they have.
Commenting on the survey findings, Rob Hilborn, Head of Strategy at BroadbandGenie.co.uk, said: “There is still a lot of confusion around advertising within the broadband industry. It’s a technical product and some of the jargon can confuse the average user. It certainly doesn’t help that information on speed isn’t accurate to the individual user. Trust in broadband advertising is a major problem, but the new rules coming in later this year are definitely a step in the right direction. Consumers will start to see a more accurate representation of the speeds actually available to their homes and businesses, hopefully restoring trust between provider and consumer.”