An email recently popped into my inbox claiming to offer a ‘recession-busting’ broadband deal that would mean customers would ‘only pay £2.49 per month for the entire life of the contract… no gimmicks, just real value’.
Sound too good to be true? Well it is.
Read on a few more lines and you’ll see that this is actually subject to taking Direct Save Telecom’s – the company advertising the deal – line rental at an additional £12.85 a month. This means you’ll actually have pay over £15 a month.
In the grand scheme of things, this still isn’t a bad price – so why do companies insist on using these silly headline figures?
Misleading headline broadband prices?
It brings me back to my old bugbear – misleading broadband advertising. Steps have now been taken to cut down on the misleading speeds being bandied about, as well as the deals that are advertised as having ‘unlimited’ usage when in fact there’s a ‘fair usage limit’.
But perhaps it’s time to take a little look at misleading headline prices too?
I’m not picking on Direct Save Telecom in particular; this is a pretty common occurrence in the way broadband packages are advertised.
Log on to most providers’ websites and you’ll be presented with a cheap figure riddled with asterisks that point you to the small print that applies. This can be anything from compulsory line rental, to the price going up after a couple of months.
In fact, Tesco Broadband is also advertising a £2.50 per month broadband and home phone package. There are a couple of caveats – it only lasts 12 months (after this, it goes up to £6.50) and you’ll have to take out Tesco’s line rental at an extra £13.75 a month.
To be fair to Tesco, it makes the first point pretty clear, but the line rental is slightly harder to spot on first glance.
Looking past the small print
I’m not suggesting that broadband deals should actually cost just £2.50 a month –I don’t think anyone really expects it too. The point is; why do they advertise it as costing this much? Not only is it confusing, it makes it very hard to compare prices between providers when you’re trying to pick a good deal.
Are you happy to search through the small print when you see a cheap broadband deal? Or do you think providers should be more upfront about the true cost of their deals?