MWEB "free" business ADSL promotion scrutinised


Executive Member
Jan 29, 2011
he should go to web africa,they give you the adsl line installation free,the chop!


Expert Member
Aug 10, 2007
it's like a shop offering free milk and the consumer complaining because it cost him petrol money to get there.


Expert Member
Jan 21, 2005
The ASA dismissed the complaint, saying that a hypothetical reasonable person viewing the advertising would not be misled as a subscriber would understand that they will be billed by the ISP for the internet connection, and by Telkom for the line rental.
While it is easy to knock the complainant I think it is unfair to critize him too much. If it is SO self evident why does MWEB need to explain Naked LLU? The quote from their facebook page:

Did you know that the Local Telecoms Operator insists that you rent a landline when you purchase an ADSL line, although you might never, ever need to use this service?
So they are trying to convince the consumer via their campaign that it is unfair have to have a Telkom line (e.g. "it is unreasonable to have to have a Telkom line"), because you don't need it, but by the same token argue a case that "it is reasonable to have to have a Telkom line)" before ASA.

Via FreeTheWeb campaign they argue that line rental is part of the cost of having ADSL, but before ASA they argue it is totally separate.

If you look at other types of telecommunication services in South Africa you are not forced to buy a voice line either - you can get a Vodacom 3G data contract without a voice contract, so this particular offer is dissimilar to other offerings in the market.

So for us in IT is obvious because we know the background. For your average uneducated consumer there are very, very conflicting messages out there.

Frankly MWeb should have a CLEAR message at the bottom of these adds saying "Excluding Telkom line rental" and not only the boilerplate "T&C applies".

While I agree with the ruling, I do think that it is not as clear cut as saying the complainant is totally wrong.


Honorary Master
May 23, 2007
their point seems pretty valid.

- the status quo is that if you want an adsl line, you have to pay telkom for the line and adsl rental portion.
- they would like a position where you can just pay for having adsl and not the telephone component if that is what you want

one does not contradict the other


Well-Known Member
May 15, 2009
I think cause its not a consumer product that the business person (it department) would know.
Clever response from mweb though, but agree with the guy about the, free the web, the fact that they said that means it isn't clear to many.