Choosing the right broadband deal just became much easier

New rules ensuring that broadband advertising is made much clearer price-wise, and ISPs are less likely to confuse consumers with tricks like separating out line rental costs, come into play as of today.

The Advertising Standards Authority’s new regulations mean that going forward, the price for a broadband package must show the monthly cost including all elements – as mentioned, that means no more hiding line rental charges at the bottom of an ad or in small print – and all up-front costs as well.

In other words, you’ll know exactly what you’ll be paying. The ASA is also insisting that ‘greater prominence’ should be given to up-front fees, like installation charges or activation fees. And that the contract length should also be presented with greater prominence, as well as the price of the deal beyond any discount period.

Confusion reigns 

As the ASA said back in May, previous practices have confused consumers and made it difficult for them to compare and contrast different broadband deals. Indeed, in a survey the organisation carried out, 81% of respondents failed to calculate the correct cost of a broadband contract from the details given in a sample advert.

Adverts which flaunt these newly imposed standards risk getting hit with the ban stick.

Chief Executive of the ASA, Guy Parker, commented: “Broadband is a service we all take for granted. That’s why some people can get frustrated when they sign-up to a package after seeing an ad, only to find their bills are higher than expected.

“From today, we expect to see a change in how broadband providers advertise their prices. The effect should be a real positive difference in how consumers understand and engage with ads for broadband services.”

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).