Giffgaff cleared of ‘misleading customers’ over unlimited data

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Advertising Standards Authority throws out complaints and concludes plans are unlimited for ‘legitimate users’

MVNO giffgaff has been cleared of misleading customers by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), following complainants the internet usage on its unlimited mobile data plans was actually capped.

Eight customers registered complaints with the advertising regulator about the firm’s £10, £15 and £20 goodybag plans – which feature unlimited mobile data for a month – claiming they had been disconnected following warnings about over-usage.

However, the ASA dismissed the claims after giffgaff explained complainants had used the service ‘illegitimately’ as its terms and conditions stated unlimited data must be for personal use and SIMs couldn’t be used in other devices such as dongles or ‘in a way that adversely impacts the service to other giffgaff customers’.

The MVNO added if a customer used over 1GB an hour they would have their service suspended and be contacted to deem if they were using the data ‘legitimately’. If they were able to convince giffgaff the service was being used properly they will then be reconnected.

The ASA agreed that giffgaff’s conditions were fair and concluded: “We noted the terms and conditions outlined that the service must not be used for tethering or connecting to other devices. We considered that this was a fair condition and was not contrary to what the average consumer would understand from an unlimited mobile internet service.

We also considered the condition that the service would not be used ‘in such a way that adversely impacts the service to other gifgaff customers’ was, when used correctly, an acceptable condition.”

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