NAD recommends T-Mobile stop “Best Unlimited Network” ad claim


T-Mobile has had a few encounters with the National Advertising Division (NAD) in the past, and today the group is going after T-Mo once again.

The NAD today recommended that T-Mobile stop using its “Best Unlimited Network” advertising. This ad tagline came under NAD review due to a complaint from AT&T.

In its recommendation, the NAD explains that carriers should be free to promote the advantages that it offers to consumers. When a wireless carrier uses comparative advertising claims, though, it must back up those claims to avoid misleading customers and ensure that all providers are on a level playing field.

For its “Best Unlimited Network” ads, T-Mobile pointed to the six OpenSignal network awards that it won in August 2017. T-Mo used data from Ookla in Q3 2017 that said T-Mobile had the fastest LTE download and upload speeds, going on to argue that its superior latency and 4G availability shows that its network is best for unlimited high-speed data users. T-Mo also cited the extras that it offers to unlimited customers, saying that they’re better than the features offered to subscribers of competing carriers.

AT&T argued that the OpenSignal and Ookla tests “were a poor fit for the challenged claim.”

The NAD says that T-Mobile’s evidence doesn’t match the breadth of the “Best Unlimited Network” claim that it makes. It feels that T-Mo hasn’t provided evidence that its network is better at providing talk or text services, or in providing high-speed data more reliably to a larger coverage area. The NAD also says that T-Mobile’s unlimited plan features are elements of T-Mo’s plan and not the network, so they don’t support T-Mobile’s “Best Unlimited Network” claim.

T-Mobile responded by arguing that for consumers weighing what makes a network the “Best Unlimited Network”, having the fastest data speeds is more important than other attributes. However, the NAD does not feel that there’s any evidence to support that argument.

T-Mobile has said that it’s a “long-time support of the self-regulatory process, but is disappointed with the NAD’s decision” and that it plans to appeal to the National Advertising Review Board.

Source: NAD

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  • Hurlamania

    America’s best unlimited network

  • mikeZo6

    No way the best far from it LMFAO

  • AT&T is a hater! I see if tmobile trade marked that then it’ll be a issue but numbers do lie.

  • jj201367

    Tmobile is the fastest

  • Me

    Perhaps AT&T was like here’s some money, ignore any evidence TMO presents and then rule against TMO. If anyone asks though it never happened.

  • PC_Tool

    They should; but hear me out: They should change it from Network to Carrier and when asked to support the claim, simply ask what other carrier even provides an option for unlimited LTE Tethering (One Plus International)?

    • (J²)

      I agree… Network to Carrier would be an easy hands down. Network, eh, but who is AT&T to raise a concern? They are a fairly distant number 3 in speed.

  • Pak T

    Wait you mean some companies might actually stretch the truth when advertising???? WHAT? No way, every ad is completely truthful, right? I mean when all four of them advertise they have the best/fastest/cheapest/easiest/best customer service/most features/etc. no of them would mislead me… would they?


    You can’t be the BEST & CHEAPEST. Lots want to convince themselves that T-Mobile is the best out there, but in reality they are the cheapest. Been a customer for over 12 years. I know when I am in a weak signal area, I pull out my work phone on Verizon and make the call or use the data.

    • Captain Insano

      I say this all the time. T-MOBILE may be the best for your pockets but not the best network. I had all four and T-Mobile is cool but not the best just the best for the buck.

    • Francisco Peña

      I switched from VZW to TMo because I got fed up at slow speeds on my UDP. Being in my office I’d not get a signal, and areas around my house that used to be fast slowed down (I wasn’t an abuser, I just used 8-13GB a month). Switched to TMo, and kept my VZW line open with an older phone to compare. Where I couldn’t get fast speeds with TMo, I got fast speeds with TMo. I never got over 60MBps on VZW but pulled over 100 a few times with Tmo.

      Overall, some places were better for VZW and some better for TMo as i’d run speed tests throughout town with both phones. For the price, I accepted any flaws in TMo’s coverage.

    • SirStephenH

      Verizon was no better than T-Mobile when we switched and that was before band 12 was available and the past years of major network investments.

    • I switched back from Verizon because they claim to have the best coverage but I can to places that have coverage and they fail. So false adversitmenet to me

  • steadymobb

    TMobile service quality sucks a lot of the time. They’ve been working to make it better but it’s still fairly far from the best.

    • StevenM

      …at your location. It rocks at mine. People are jealous of the data speeds.

      I was at Chicago-Midway a couple of months ago. AWFUL data speeds. If I lived where speeds were that slow, I’d totally go with someone else.

      • steadymobb

        I live in Seattle, near their HQ. I have good service someplaces but there is always spots where it fails miserably. Doesn’t make much sense.

        • SirStephenH

          Every time I’ve been through the Seattle area service has been fantastic. Amazing speeds and no dead spots. Nothing like over here in Kitsap County with dead spots and unusable connections all over the place.

  • Petey07

    I had T-Mobile before I moved to Verizon then now back to T-Mobile. I left T-Mobile when they didn’t offer the iPhone, and went with Verizon because of the iPhone and the network. I live in a metropolitan city, and verizon data speed was HORRIBLE. Same goes with AT&T when they first had the exclusive to the iPhone. But I believe all services now are better and improving. That’s being said. I left Verizon to come back to T-Mobile because I wasnt happy with service & how much I am paying just for their “reputation”. T-Mobile has improve over time & continue to improve. Places that i barely have any data services or 2g/3g/3.5g, now have 4G LTE services. Thanks to Legere and his team for ramping up and putting T-Mobile in a better place. With this title, why do we really care? All carrier has issues, whatever works for you, stay with that carrier. These title doesn’t really justify anything IMO.

    • SirStephenH

      We were with Verizon before moving to T-Mobile too. Verizon started changing the terms of their grandfathered unlimited plans to try to force people onto their limited plans so we switched. We live in a rural area and did the Test Drive (T-Mobile’s program at the time where they’d give you a free week of service and a loaner phone to test before you switch) first and while T-Mobile didn’t have band 12 at the time, Verizon’s coverage (the reputation of which is what people pay a premium for) was AT BEST equal to T-Mobile’s but overall appeared slightly worse. Since then T-Mobile has made great strides in improving their network and we haven’t regretted our decision at all.

  • (J²)

    T-Mobile does have the Best Unlimited Network, which can only be rivaled by Verizon. AT&T and Sprint are very distant competitors – so the dispute is baffling.

    T-Mobile has a higher soft cap for data
    T-Mobile does not throttle, it deprioritizes (some carriers throttle)
    T-Mobile as of recently has the fastest 4G/LTE speeds
    T-Mobile offers a lower price for their plans
    T-Mobile also offers more options with their plan (such as hotspot)

    T-Mobile does have the Best Unlimited Network. “Best” is vague and implies overall – which also means their are some errors where T-Mobile is falling behind.

  • SirStephenH

    Funny. I see false and misleading claims by companies all the time but NAD seems to only go after T-Mobile.

    And yes, T-Mobile does have the best unlimited network.

  • Jesse

    Oh and Crap-T&T can advertise fake 5G

    • SirStephenH

      It’s HSPA+ all over again.