Rain’s “unlimited 24/7” 5G adverts misleading – ARB
The Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) has found that Rain’s advertising of unlimited 24/7 data at average speeds of over 200Mbps on its 5G products is misleading and unsubstantiated.
A complainant submitted to the ARB that in their experience of the product, the advertised characteristics were misleading for the following reasons:
- Unlimited data 24/7 – The line continuously drops and is not available 24/7.
- Your choice of network speeds – There is no choice. The line variability is vast.
- Your choice of streaming quality – There is no choice. The line is very poor.
With regards to other claims made in a second advertisement, the complainant raised the following issues:
- Average network speed of 200Mbps – The network drops completely – no stability throughout the day and these speeds cannot be captured through speed tests.
- Unlimited 24/7 home Wi-Fi – Network drops often and is unusable for streaming or working online.
- Choice of network speeds – Although there are two packages, you don’t have a choice. As seen from the chart, the network speeds are highly varied.
- Choice of streaming quality – Again, the network drops so often, you end up using mobile data.
Speeds of over 200Mbps
The ARB noted that it may be the case that Rain is able to usually offer average network speeds of over 200Mbps and that there is a service issue with a particular complainant that makes it impossible.
However, while it never requires that an advertiser is able to meet the promised standards in every single unique situation, it does require proof that the advertiser is generally capable of meeting the advertised claims.
While Rain provided clarity on its product offerings in response to the complaint, it did not provide support for its speed or quality claims.
“More specifically, there is nothing to show that the advertiser actually offers the claimed performance,” the ARB said.
The ARB requested a further response and substantiation from Rain in respect of its claims, but the company failed to respond.
It therefore ruled that the average speed claim is unsubstantiated.
Unlimited 24/7 data
Regarding the “unlimited 24/7 data” claim, the ARB explained that the complainant had understood this to mean the service would be available all the time.
“It appears from the complaint that the ‘unlimited’ claim is not in dispute but it is the ’24/7′ portion of the claim,” the ARB said.
“In its response, the advertiser stated that the data is unlimited as the Advertiser does not charge per gig. It has, however, not addressed the 24/7 issue,” the ARB said.
The ARB said it was of the view that the advertisement could be interpreted in two ways.
“It could mean that the data is unlimited all the time and therefore uncapped, in other words that there is no time period when the data is limited and when it is charged per gig.”
“Alternatively, it could mean that the unlimited data is always available to the consumer without interruption,” the ARB said.
“While the advertiser has provided motivation for the first interpretation, it has not done so for the second. Given this, the directorate is of the view that the claim is ambiguous and therefore misleading,” the ARB said.
The ARB instructed Rain to remove or amend the advertisements immediately as deadlines permit.