back to article You TalkTalk a big game, says ads watchdog, but your testing not good enough to say your Wi-Fi's best

Low-rent UK ISP TalkTalk has been told to stop claiming its Wi-Fi signal "can't be beaten by any of the other big providers" after fellow telco BT whinged to the UK's Advertising Standards Agency (ASA). The regulator ruled that the statements about its bundled router hardware's performance were misleading. In its defence, …

  1. Daniel Hall
    Terminator

    Invest in customer service

    Investing that £1.5bn in sorting out their customer service issues would probably have helped a lot more in the long run.

  2. lglethal Silver badge
    Go

    I had to read this twice

    ""We also noted that the routers were only positioned facing one direction, and were not rotating (for instance on turntables) when the Wi-Fi signal was being tested."

    My first reaction was a "What??? There are people who sit there routers on Turntables!?!?!?".

    After a second reading, I realised what they actually meant, but still, they could have been clearer...

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: I had to read this twice

      I assumed the turntable was mounted on an air suspension with belt drive to properly smooth out the signals being Wi-Fi'ed, thus ensuring a higher quality of modulation scheme

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Marketing lies

    I've never understood how any ISP can claim their freebie router is better at wi-fi than anyone elses unless they have some magic fairy dust to sprinkle inside it. They comply with 802.11, etc., therefore all conform to the same specs. Yes, some router may have shoddy antenna and/or circuitry design and be worse than others, but the ISP's procurement and engineering folks should pick up on this before buying a million of the things from Huawei or whoever. There really shouldn't be any discernable difference between them, and it is totally impossible for them to state it will be better all round as the home environment is such an uncontrolled environment.....

    And as for their marketing wonks delusion that their's is best on the market.... er, no. It's a cheap PoS that you give away for free. If it was best on market you would be charging £500-1000 for it.....

    1. status203

      Re: Marketing lies

      1. As you said.

      2. Phrase misleadingly as "can't be beaten by any of the other big providers"

      3. Profit?

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Pint

      "can't be beaten by any of the other big providers"

      "No other pub sells bigger pints than we do".

      Completely true, but entirely meaningless.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Marketing lies

      "I've never understood how any ISP can claim their freebie router is better at wi-fi than anyone elses unless they have some magic fairy dust to sprinkle inside it."

      Not to mention that they keep saying "our" router. No it isn't. It's a re-brand which, at most, has had the default settings and the web interface tweaked to match the brand. I'd be very surprised if they customised anything related to the actual operation of the radios or anything else active in the firmware not related to customer visible branding.

  4. andy gibson

    Pre-approve ads?

    As all Ofcom seems to do is investigate misleading adverts from ISPs which usually involves a lengthy investigation with a "sorry we won't do it again" - Why doesn't it save time and check and approve or deny them BEFORE they're released?

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: Pre-approve ads?

      Because Ofcom isn't the origin of the ruling; it merely advised the Advertising Standards Agency on some technical points, after which the ASA made its ruling.

      For all its faults Ofcom has no remit to approve or disapprove advertising material of this kind.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Pre-approve ads?

        For that matter, the ASA doesn't really have much power either being an industry staffed and funded self-regulatory body, hence the toothless slap on the wrist "punishments".

  5. adam payne

    Low-rent UK ISP TalkTalk has been told to stop claiming its Wi-Fi signal "can't be beaten by any of the other big providers" after fellow telco BT whinged to the UK's Advertising Standards Agency (ASA)

    It's an advert and thus I didn't believe it for a second.

    Pot and kettle though BT. How many times have the ASA spoken to you about your adverts?!?

    1. Baldrickk

      If BT can't make spurious claims, NO ONE CAN!

  6. Old Cynic

    Now that inflated speeds are a no-go area for most ISP, the next best way to sell their poxy service is by promising the best wifi. Most customers use wifi and know all about patchy coverage in the home so likely a good way to churn customers onto their service - until they realise it's just as shite as the service they came from.

    Unfortunately most users aren't aware enough to know that the only way to improve things is throw away the shitty router and install something like a Nighthawk. Or to make a real difference, add an additional WAP to extend coverage properly. My house has thick stone walls and 5 WAPs to ensure decent coverage - I can't see TalkTalk supplying that kind of service for 30 quid a month.

  7. Crisp

    Sky Router, Virgin Router, TalkTalk Router

    All made in Taiwan!

  8. mark l 2 Silver badge

    A TalkTalk spokesman was undeterred, insisting: "We have one of the best routers on the market"

    I received the Talktalk Sagemcom wifi hub when I signed up to their VDSL service but personally wasn't overly impressed with it. it might have reasonable wireless signal but it is let down in a lot of other areas. The admin interface is poor with it being hard to find some settings due to a bad UI and some advanced settings missing completely.

    Its also lacking a USB port which means no plugging in a printer, or memory stick and being able to share it over your network. Something that the old Huawei routers they used to supply were able to do.

    In the end I swapped it out for an ASUS VDSL router running ASUSWRT and flogged the Talktalk unit on ebay.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes because BT'S Add with helicopter was good Avertising ...

    Because everyone connects to there Wirless signal 200M straight up in the Air. Didn't they make a claim best WiFi signal EVER !!

  10. Imco

    I'd rather go without wifi than use talktalk

  11. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Morons

    Damn there are some effing morons out there in Marketing Depts. BT got bollocked for claiming they had the best WiFi (https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2019/02/bt-advert-banned-for-misleading-uks-most-powerful-wi-fi-claim.html), so TalkTalk decide that's for them as they just don't have quite enough complaints against them.

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