250MB represents unlimited data says ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rejected a complaint from a member of the public over the definition of unlimited data in a mobile phone contract advert.

A press advert from e2save, a subsidiary of Carphone Warehouse, offered a Blackberry Bold 9000 with an unlimited' data package. However, a footnote revealed this to in fact be 250MB, sparking the reader to complain.

In its defence e2save cited Orange, who described 1MB of mobile data as enough to cover "160 WAP pages, 100 short emails, four video clips or three music tracks". Clearly, these are remarkably short music tracks, with the average four minute 128Kb/sec music track coming in at around 4MB.

Users on the Blackberry Bold are also unlikely to access stripped-down WAP pages when they have a fully-fledged web browser and a 3G connection at their disposal.

Despite this, the ASA stated that on the basis of the figures provided, "the vast majority of customers were unaffected by the data limit, and we therefore concluded that the fair usage policy did not contradict the claim 'includes unlimited data'".

However, the ASA did rap e2save for failing to state the 250MB "fair usage policy" more clearly in the ad.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.