Advertisements for Vodafone broadband has been banned for misleading customers about the speeds and the reduction of the invoices.
The television and radio, featuring the actor Martin Freeman said: “Vodafone warranty of your home broadband speeds, or of the money until it is fixed.”
But the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld the complaints, including from rival BT – that the claims could not be justified.
Vodafone said it was “disappointed” by the ASA’s decision to ban the ads.
The ads featured Mr. Freeman playing a video game online, only to have her internet “drop out” at a key moment.
His opponent in the game said to him “just get Vodafone”, and the text on the screen tells viewers they may be entitled to a reduction if the speeds are below certain thresholds.
And the Vodafone website said: “Our Ultimate Speed Guarantee means that you get the highest-speed broadband available to you, or we’ll give you a discount on your monthly bill until we can drive you there.”
But the ASA said consumers interpret the ad to mean that Vodafone could guarantee a minimum of speed sufficiently fast to avoid problems such as buffering.’Misunderstood’
The regulator said that customers know about buffering, and lower speeds may not receive the discount on the invoices.
The ASA said it had told Vodafone to ensure its advertising is not mislead customers in the future.
A spokesman for Vodafone said the company was “disappointed” by the decision and said the ASA had “misunderstood” the offer.
She said that the warranty is still unmatched in the market as no other major brand offers a promise like that all their range, they do not apply discounts directly to customers ‘bills if they do not deliver”.