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For those of us outside the Infinity areas BT advertises 16Mb Internet for £? a month - I believe the prices will be changing again soon!
When I inquired about their offer, they tested my line and said I could get between 1Mb and 3.5Mb with their best estimate 1Mb. They said that the "best estimate" could be between 1Mb and 2Mb wrong either way, but that the price for the broadband deal was the same as the advertisement.
I have two problems with this arrangement. First of all, they could provide me with a negligible service, almost to the point of being no service at all and they'd still be within the 1Mb to 2Mb either way. What use is that?
Post a message on our forum if your BT Internet is too slow!
Secondly, the limitation is due to the equipment they provide at my local exchange, their lines from the exchange to my house etc.. If a shop offered some item at a stated price for a pound weight, and then said,"Sorry, we only have small bags in this branch, so you will only get one ounce, but the price is still the same as we advertise for a pound" then they would quite rightly be prosecuted.
Why are BT allowed to make ludicrous claims which they almost never fulfil? If I'm paying for up to 16Mb then I should expect something close to it or to pay a proportional amount less for my broadband.
BT Advertising - "within the standard agreed"
I took this further and asked the Advertising Standards people about this and was referred to Ofcom. Ofcom said the advertisements were "within the standard agreed" and confirmed that BT were not actually required to prove that even one customer gets the advertised speed.
So where does that leave the customer - particularly those of us that live in rural areas? Well as far as I can see it's a bit like paying your money, closing your eyes and rummaging around in a lucky dip bag!