back to article BT bitchslapped for misleading 'Join now' Infinity ad

The war of words between Virgin Media and BT has once again landed on the steps of the UK's advertising watchdog, which upheld one out of three complaints brought by Virgin Media against its rival ISP. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that it agreed with Virgin Media's concerns that a BT press ad with the …


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  1. SuperNintendoChalmers

    If Only

    If only they would make their roll out plans for Infinity clear.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You mean by putting them on their web site with dates and such like?

      Go here:

      Then look for the bit that says "Check if you can get BT Infinity", then if you can't look at the bit that says "See when its available in your area"

      1. Ian Yates


        This morning the "when it's available" for my building changed from 30-Sep-2011 to (drum-roll please) 31-Dec-2011. And this isn't the first time they've knocked it back.

        I'd rather they just said "no current plans" than getting my hopes up until days before the date they give me.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Next time you get the opportunity to upgrade the telephone network to 90% of the country perhaps you can demonstrate how much better your planning is. Perhaps you are The Chosen One. The miraculous being that bring an IT project in on time and under budget.

          Not that I'm a huge fan of BT but fair's fair. It's a bloody large project with a lot of unknowns (planning permissions, unknown state of ducts, power supply etc) so a little slippage ought to be understandable.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 12.22. "Then look for the bit that says "Check if you can get BT Infinity", then if you can't look at the bit that says "See when its available in your area""

        For me there is no mention of anywhere closer than 80 miles. Not as straightforward as you seem to think it is, the plans are either incomplete or are being kept quiet.

        Of course we can always do the line check thing = "Sorry, you're not currently able to get BT Infinity. This may be because your area has not been enabled yet, or your individual line does not support super-fast broadband. Register your interest and we'll let you know if this changes."

        Note *IF this changes*

        Like WBC, a large area of the country will wait a long time before this ever reaches them.

  2. xyz Silver badge

    I still think BT's "best product" is BT Vision....

    ..who else but BT would try to flog you (actually, rent to you for a monthly fee) what is basically a freeview PVR as a service where most service aspects (i.e modern movies downloads) cost more than the base service you've already bought/rented. Absolute class. The only honest thing you can say about BT is they put the snake oil back in salesman.

    1. SeanK
      Thumb Up

      RE: I still think BT's "best product" is BT Vision..


      To be fair to BT they give you a free 160GB PVR recorder and you pay £4 a month for access to the catchup TV services - all done over thier QOS line to ensure no stuttering. After your contract is up you can cancel the monthy fee if you want and stay PAYG. So for an 18 month contract typically £4x18 = £72 for a PVR with access to the BBC,ITV,CH4,CH5 catchup channels. Plus their is Music, Tv Series and Movies you can subscribe to or watch on a PAYG basis.

      We are lucky in N. Ireland, most of us seem to have BT Infinity Coverage now.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm sure BT's claim that their wifi is better than anyone elses is bunkum too. It can't be otherwise it wouldn't work with all the other standard wifi products out there.

    1. Vic

      > I'm sure BT's claim that their wifi is better than anyone elses is bunkum too.

      They don't claim that.

      What they say is that their service is the *best*. They omit to mention that so is everyone else's, because they're all doing the same standards.

      So their advert is simultaneously both technically correct and entirely misleading. And that is what Marketing is all about...


  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's better than that.

    I got a letter on real paper, through my letterbox, yesterday inviting me to 'Join Now' and to go to a URL which would tell me if I could have BT Infinity yet.

    I went to the given URL and entered my phone number. Up came a window containing two sentences.

    The first said yes, I could have BT Infinity now. The second said no, I couldn't have BT Infinity yet.

    I think I'll wait.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've made the same mistake. If you read it carefully, it's "BT Broadband" that you can have now. I guess they think that's some kind of consolation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Maybe so, but...

        The 'BT Broadband' they said I could have was quoted at a speed of 17-19Mb.

        The 'BT Broadband' I've currently got (yes, their website doesn't seem to be smart enough to work it out) gives me a speed of 6Mb.

        Oo look! Misadvertising of broadband speeds. Time to call the regulator again.

  5. Matt Collins

    If only, cont.

    ...and offered wires-only installation and static IP addresses.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I imagine people working on Infinity have the same wish....

  7. Chris 171

    VM please start blowing fibre not hot air.

    To the home down your existing conduits, Ill have it as Im getting irked with the reliability of the coax coming into my house curently. Its usually bulletproof to be fair but does blip occasionally dropping packets like a bad postie.

    Not withstanding the fact that I also had to fix a shockingly installed junction box myself to ensure my landline worked when it was raining (they just cut the redundant extensions outside the box rather than removing them entirely)

    Still wouldnt touch BT if only for that fact that VM with their separate lines have a far more resilient system when it goes fubar with usually with one or the other lines working at least a third (in fibre) would / should give almost 100% uptime <we can but hope ;)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I switched from BT to Virgin Media. There was a good reason for that... BT was sloooow and sometimes just failed to work!

  8. Ryan Kendall

    Exchange is ready Infinity isn't

    My exchange is already switch to infinity. But the best they can give me is 17.50Mbit (estimate for February 28th) I'll think i will stay with my current 22Mbit line on the up to 24Mbit Talk Talk.

  9. welshie

    Virgin Media's offering isn't fibre either

    Virgin Media's regular offering is no more fibre-optic than BT Infinity. It's fibre-to-the-cabinet.

    In a similar manner, pretty much all ADSL could be classed as fibre-optic since the traffic goes over fibre-optic cables to the exchange.

    To be honest, it doesn't really matter how the bandwidth is delivered - copper, fibre, radio, carrier pidgeon, so long as it's reliable and consistent, and of sufficient capacity and sufficiently low latency.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On a slight aside...

    ....I've abondoned VM and gone for a Humax HDR+ box, VM were charging me £32 per month for a rather shocking TV and BB package and were apparently unable to do any better. The Humax is great and I have adequate mobile Internet on my SGSII, the only thing I could possibly want for are some of the IPTV functionalities from the Humax, so all I need is a line into the house for as little as possible (including any line rental obviously) and ideally not from VM.

    So, erm, any suggestions? :)

  11. CowardlyAndrew


    The FTTC estimates are very conservative, and if getting 22Meg now then by removing the e side you should go even faster.

    People moan when estimates are high and low, its an estimate of course.

  12. Florence

    Rubbish adverts

    If I could be bothered, I'd also write to the ASA about Talk Talk's "UK's safest broadband".

    How is it safe? You get an install CD for Symantec or McAfee Anti Virus and possibly a subscription...

    1. Mr Young


      Talk Talk have recently introduced their 'HomeSafe' product which is meant to block dodgy sites and protect the poor little user. In reality it appears to be a new version of Phorm and they track all users activity even if the 'HomeSafe' option is disabled.

      1. Florence

        @Mr Young

        Hah I guess I didn't look at that poster long enough - sure it mentioned an AV. But if indeed they are talking of securing broadband itself then it can only be an intrusive process.

  13. Alexis Vallance

    Waste of space

    As usual, the ad that has been ruled on finished running weeks ago.

    What IS the point of the ASA?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Bit of pot and kettle there. I remember shouting frequent abuse (okay, muttering) at the Virgin adverts on TV advertising products with incredibly small print (unreadable on a small TV) saying "not available in all areas" for their cable services...

    At least BT are rolling out their product to new areas, when was the last time VM cabled a new area? I remember seeing their trench getting closer and closer to my town about 10-15 years ago, and then it stopped. As did all other investment in connecting new areas.

    Pretty happy with my Infinity, I went from 2-3Mbs to 37Mbs!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmm....

      When BT announced Infinity here my 5-6Mbs dropped to 2-2.5Mbs.

  15. Ryan Kendall

    I Hope your right


    I Hope your right otherwise i'll be stuck with a downgrade on an 18 month contract :-(

  16. nwlad

    Bt Infinity really is so much better!

    I have had to put up with a poor 1.2mb broadband link for years , via various providers, because of the distance from the local exchange. Didn't matter who I went with, no one could provide anything better as it all went through the same exchange.

    I moved to BT last year when my ISP closed and BT had planned infinity for our area. They actually delivered it 2 months earlier than expected and I have now gone from 1.2/1.5mb at best to 32.4mb link, 10mb upload.

    It is truly exceptional. I have now installed powerline adaptors in the house so we can now watch Iplayer etc via our Freesat HD box on the TV plus Xbox online gaming is superfast. I can use IP telephony and video calls with complete clarity when I work from home. iplayer etc on PC is great even HD viewing - no noticeable buffering and stuttering - fantastic

    Those of you lucky enough to have had 17/20/ plus mb links won't notice the differnece as much I suppose but for those of us on old slow lines it has transformed out use of the internet

    for those on slow lines - it is worth the wait

  17. Scott 2


    I moved to Dumfries (Lockerbie) a few years ago.

    I hate it - I mean, really.

    <-- that way, Annan - Pilot scheme for upto 24mb.

    --> that way, Dumfries, Sky LLU.

    Me? 6.5Mb. *cry*

    And with a dodgy DSL connection that cuts out whenever it feels like it - and no ISP ever have managed to fix it.

    Why can't I just call Openreach personally?

    Oh ffs, I'm whining again... :|

  18. nonpc

    Infinity updates

    Condidering I'd registered my interest in Infinity, an email would have been expected when the 'available' date moved last week from 30th Sept to 31st Dec... Yes, delays happen, but a comms company ought to be able to communicate to manage expectations!

    Also the plethora of broadband deals makes it impossible to work out if it is worth switching to BT now and getting and automatic (ho ho!) upgrade to Infinity when it is available. The online web support chat seems to suggest that that would be a change in contract which negates any deals...

    I'll stick with my 6Mb Be offering, I think.

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