MWEB Business Uncapped ADSL ad under fire

MWEB recently launched its consumer and business uncapped ADSL services which started a mini-revolution in the ADSL market. 

While MWEB’s uncapped consumer product is essentially only an ADSL account, the uncapped business offering is a superior product which includes a Cisco router and various other bells and whistles.  This obviously comes at a cost, and is only available on a twelve month contract.

The MWEB Business uncapped ADSL account online promotion did not go down with Mr. Wayne Hendriks who felt that the advertising is misleading because it creates the expectation that using a Cisco router was optional, and that the general service was available on a month-to-month subscription.

Hendriks lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) about the issue, adding that there is an undisclosed fee applicable for setting up this router which was not clearly communicated.

MWEB responds

MWEB in turn said that its website is clear and all information is a simple click away in relation to products, pricing and all other aspects.

MWEB added that while there is almost no likelihood of people interpreting the information to imply that the use of the Cisco router is optional, it will amend the advertising to clearly state that this service is only available on a 12 month contract, and that the router is compulsory for all new contracts.

Insofar as the setup fee for the router applies, MWEB said that the relevant website has a clear notice “click here for more info on offering and pricing”, which opens up a document clearly displaying all the setup information and costs.

ASA rules

The ASA was satisfied with MWEB’s commitment to clearly stipulate that their uncapped business offering is only available on a 12 month contract, and that the router is compulsory for all new contracts.

The ASA however felt that the setup fee is not clearly outlined on the MWEB website, and that “a hypothetical reasonable person has no knowledge that there is an additional cost of up to R1500 applicable for this service”.

The ASA therefore ruled that the website promotion of the service is misleading and should be removed in its current format. 

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MWEB Business Uncapped ADSL ad under fire