The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has ruled that an Internet service provider should not advertise 10Mbps broadband speeds if it cannot achieve the advertised speeds.
The ruling followed a consumer complaint against Ibits Internet’s 10Mbps uncapped broadband advertising.
Ibits Internet’s advertised uncapped 10Mbps package was misleading because the customer had “not once reached even a tenth of this speed”.
The complainant’s network monitoring software showed speeds of well below 1Mbps on his connection.
Ibits Internet responded, saying there are several factors that could impact a user’s speed.
These include internal bottlenecks on routers, computers that are unable to process such speeds, or other downloads being performed in the background while speed tests are being conducted.
The company said the advertising clearly states that there are no guarantees that one would achieve 10Mbps every time a test is done.
The ASA was not convinced by Ibits Internet’s arguments, saying it failed to prove that the complainant received a true 10Mbps service.
“The complainant provided several examples that show a speed well below 1Mbps. The respondent appears to have picked one example where a speed of 7.33Mbps was achieved,” said the ASA.
“It can also not be ignored that a speed of 7.33Mbps is still nearly 27% slower than what is advertised.”
In the absence of information to show that speeds close to 10Mbps are achieved constantly, the ASA found that the advertised package appears to be an exaggeration that is likely to mislead consumers.
The ASA ruled that Ibits Internet should withdraw its 10Mbps claim with immediate effect.