back to article TalkTalk's 'unbeatable signal strength' and 'fastest Wi-Fi tech' FIBS silenced by ad watchdog

TalkTalk is the latest ISP to be rapped by the UK's advertising watchdog for telling porkies about its broadband service. The budget telco was admonished by the Advertising Standards Authority for failing to substantiate claims it made about its network. TalkTalk made the following outlandish assertion in a circular advert …

  1. theblackhand

    Dear Talk Talk

    If you stray from "Talk Talk - we're crap but cheap" you're going to get in trouble....

  2. johnaaronrose
    Thumb Up

    Dear ISPs

    I've found that all the ISPs own branded routers are poor quality. Admittedly, I've only used the main phone & cable players' ones.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Dear ISPs

      But... But... But... BT sent me an email the other day, saying their Home Hub had the best range of any WiFi router. And BT wouldn't lie to me. No! I won't believe it! BT are my friends. They send me emails and everything.

      Next you be telling me that anti-ageing creams don't work. And they've been tested by the British Skin Foundation and everything!

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Dear ISPs

        There, there, there... they keep telling me I can have 60Mbit broadband *in spite* of the fact that I can't get more than 1.5Mbit from the (somewhat ancient and distant) cabinet...

        1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          Re: Dear ISPs

          You must read the claim more carefully. I bet it says *up to* 60Mbps. Thus the claim remains true even if you get zero speed ...

          1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

            Re: Dear ISPs

            Indeed it does. But the nice lady who rings me from time to time to try and sell it to me, she offers 60Mbit... it's only when I ask her to look at her own data on the link speed that she goes all quiet.

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Dear ISPs

              The other approach (if recording) is to ask them if they're guaranteeing that you'll get that speed, buy the service if they do, then take them to court when they can't provide it.

              Small print in followup mail isn't revelent to what was originally agreed in the sales call. In fact, should the mailed out stuff differ substantially from the sales call then any agreement is null and void (IANAL, however this has been thrashed out time and again)

              The ASA currently requires that at least 10% of customers are able to get the "up to" speed.

              Which is pushing for that figure to be raised to 51% - which may be unrealistic, but 10% is definitely too low.

      2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: Dear ISPs

        Dear not Mr Spartacus,

        You seem like a nice, credulous chap. My brother had £380 million in his Nigerian bank account ...

  3. Sir Barry

    I'm waiting for one ISP to create a new advert:

    <Insert ISP name> is the most honest broadband provider, we have only been told off by the ASA 1,355* times in the past 90 days which is less than any other provider.

    * Correct at time of publishing, this figure may increase with our new marketing campaign.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Whereas my rival ISP, with out 5,432 complaints in the last 90 days will run a big banner advert saying, "The ISP with the service so good they won't let you know about it".

  4. Ossi



    1. The BigYin

      Re: ASA...

      Government regulation isn't about actually doing anything, it's about being seen to do something.

      Keeps the proles happy.

    2. Michael Strorm

      ASA = Chocolate Teapot

      Yeah, it's the usual laughable "[X] was told that the ad must not appear again in its current form" response, which always happens long after the campaign the ad related to was finished, and thus it wouldn't have been reappearing in that form regardless.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: ASA...


      NOT a regulator.

      It has ZERO legal powers.

      It exists to avoid govt legislation and as such has always done the minimum necessary to stave off govt intervention and always will.

  5. returnmyjedi

    Crapness must be mandatory if the router has "super" in the title. My VM SuperHub can barely penetrate a studded wall, whereas my work laptop has no issue picking up the shared signal from an iphone or Lumia two floors up.

    1. Lallabalalla

      I have a VM Superhub...

      and live in a large brick 3-bed semi. We have the router stuffed down the side of the telly on the floor by the window at one end of the front room, quite close to the numerous plugboards etc that run the 2 stb's the tv, the ps3, the dvd and the phone - in other words, probably the worst possible siting - and we get a passable signal everywhere. In the bathroom, which is as far from it as you can get and involves the floor and at least two brick walls (if you don't count the doorways which are only filled with glass downstairs and wood upstairs (if the doors are shut) we get usually 3 or 4 bars signal strength on any device....allowing me to sit in the bath and download ebooks while hopefully not dropping the kindle.... I think you might want to get them to send an engineer round!

      P.S. TalkTalk: Worst. ISP. Ever.

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: I have a VM Superhub...

        I had problems with a Superhub, left a message on their forums, their tech people had a look remotely worked out the downstream signal was too strong, and sent an technician round to fit an attentuator (screw-in job, they could have posted it really). That was good customer service and improved things, but not entirely to my satisfaction, so I spoke to the customer retentions team and they sent me a Superhub 2 for a tenner (anecdotally some people have got them free).

        The Superhub 2 is still not as good as I'd expect a £100 dedicated wireless router to be, but its a lot better than the original Superhub, and can do 2.4GHz and 5GHz concurrently. If you can get one for free or £10 then it makes sense. Note: I've avoided phoning the support lines because they certainly used to be a crap offshore call centre - either go through the VM forums that have a good team working on them, or phone the "I'm thinking of leaving" team and tell them you're off unless they can offer you a working router.

      2. fearnothing

        Re: I have a VM Superhub...

        I see your TalkTalk and raise you an AOL.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: I have a VM Superhub...

          Talktalk _are_ AOL.

          Just because AOL UK's offices are in Luxembourg doesn't mean that the company isn't wholly owned by TalkTalk, it just means that they're trying to hide it.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: I have a VM Superhub...

        "P.S. TalkTalk: Worst. ISP. Ever."

        The odd thing is that the underlaying TT network is fine and if you buy from TT business or an ISP reselling TT you'll get very good service (see below).

        Talkltalk's rotten customer "swervice" and "unhelpful"desks (They're all as useful as a shower of shit, no matter which country they're in) are a direct result of management decisions based on knowing that customers would prefer to complain than move somewhere else.

        (Not that TalkTalk are alone in this, the big suppliers are all bloody awful)

        You don't have to wait a week for openreach to show up and not bother to fix a line, or 14 days for a rebooking if they missed their appointment for VDSL installation - that's just TalkTalk's internal rules "because they can".

        My current ISP ( had Openreach out the following morning when the bastards failed to show up (yet again) for a VDSL installation. That was after 4 months of TalkTalk failing to get it installed (13 visits where Openreach cablemonkeys either didn't bother showing up, couldn't complete the install or thought they were doing a fault and claimed "I'm not trained to do installations") and insisting on at least 10 days between rebookings.

        The irony is that Phone.Coop mostly resell TalkTalk lines - but the SLAs are stratospheric by comparison to TT retail, for about £5/month more than TT.

  6. David Lewis 2


    So use a word like "unbeatable" gets a slap on the wrist.

    But "unlimited" is OK?

  7. goldcd

    Talk Talk is pretty much the only company

    Who've managed to instil in my mind the shitness of their service, without my ever actually having been a customer.

    It's really quite a fantastic feat for me to have absorbed so dissatisfaction osmotically from my environment alone.

    1. Dave Bell

      Re: Talk Talk is pretty much the only company

      I was a TalkTalk customer for many years. I didn't use one of their ADSL boxes, and I cannot say I had wi-fi problems. Their support is crap, their advertising routinely claims the impossible (There are limits on the output power of all wifi gear), and, when I left them, their connection between the BT exchange and the rest of their network was so overloaded at peak times that my broadband connection was little better than dial-up.

      I actually doubled the speed of my connection over the physical wiring which BT provides.

      We should be getting FTTC soon here, maybe by March 2015. The TalkTalk fibre offer is incredible, and expires next week. BT Openreach vans are still in breeding mode, laying cables. Mobile data, yesterday as I travelled to a hospital appointment, was going down like a Messerschmidt over Kent.

      I have given up on trusting broadband adverts.

    2. St3n

      Re: Talk Talk is pretty much the only company

      Heard so many nightmare stories about Talk Talk residential that I'd never recommend them to anyone..

      Their business service however, is second to none. Simply the finest example of an ISP that I have ever found (been with most of the big ones over the years)

  8. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    Misread title

    Sorry, when scanning the Arse feed I saw it as 'unavailable signal strength' -- but it seem I was right after all.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    was told that the ad must not appear again in its current form

    thank you ASA, thank you very much for knowing how to use a sequence of CTRL + A / CTR + C / CTRL + V.

    Your consistency in meting out the right justice is truly astounding.

  10. Ian Emery Silver badge

    Back in the old days........

    The best wifi device I ever had was built into the cheapo Asus EeePC 901; my son could connect to the internet via a Pub 1/2 mile and 3 streets over from his mums house (she was too tight to even have dial-up!!), and still get a better connection speed than my ADSL line.

    A few years later and my future wife had her UK visa denied, and missed out going to the Upton Folk Festival, so I wandered around Upton (connected to someones unsecured router), streaming video from the 901's webcam back to her in China.

  11. eJ2095

    Speaking of virgin

    Had there email to say we are wanging up the prices again in feb..

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019