Broadband is often bundled with other services and products, and since it is a complex service it can entail tricky pricing, New rules from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) look to make this easier for consumers. Bringing major changes to how providers are allowed to advertise broadband, these rules will address pricing publication from the perspective of length of contract, bundling, and line rental.
One provision is for providers to have to indicate more clearly how the cost of the service will change after any initial low-price introductory periods. They must also clearly indicate the minimum length of the contract which will help prevent consumers from getting stuck with an unexpectedly long agreement with the provider.
But probably the most important measure in the move is to require providers to display the total cost of the broadband service – including landline rental and the actual broadband service cost. Previously this was a source of confusion for consumers, with 80% reporting that they found it difficult to estimate the entire cost of the service.
The changes took effect as of October 31st 2016. Before that, many providers were accused of using the opaqueness of broadband pricing to misrepresent their services to consumers, introduce price hikes without informing sufficiently, and using line rental price increases to justify wider price increases.
It is also of huge benefit to consumers that they can now browse different broadband pricing and compare the offers easier, and also be aware of the potential costs down the road of the entire service.