National Advertising Division takes issue with claims in T-Mobile’s TVision ad


T-Mobile has been called out for some of the claims it made in an advertisement for its TVision home television service.

The National Advertising Division, part of the Better Business Bureau, has recommended that T-Mobile discontinue some of the claims it made in a previous TVision ad. The claims were challenged by Charter Communications.

The NAD says that in the TVision ad, T-Mobile described the wiring around a TV set as “a rat’s nest of devices and wires,” but TVision requires the same number of wires as traditional cable TV. Because T-Mobile provided no support for its claim, the NAD recommends that T-Mobile stop making it.

Charter also argued in its challenge that the TVision ad implies that T-Mobile’s service is wireless. The ad shows a set top box with a single wire that’s not prominent, and it’s shown with no wires in product shots. The ad also doesn’t state that TVision is wired, the NAD says, adding that the disclaimer “Home connectivity and connected set top box required” is not clear and conspicuous nor does it communicate that a wired connection is needed.

Another issue that the NAD took with the TVision ad is when it said all cable companies have a “crappy cable interface.” The NAD says that T-Mobile provided no info about the interfaces of those other cable companies and that “the denigrating claim is not truthful, accurate, and narrowly drawn”.

T-Mobile also makes a reference to “outdated technology” in its TVision ad. However, the NAD believes that that is in reference to the “rat’s nest of devices” and “crappy cable interface” claims, which the group believe are unsubstantiated. And so the NAD has recommended that T-Mobile discontinue the “outdated technology” claim.

The NAD also recommended that T-Mobile also discontinue the claim that other cable providers have “abysmal” and “crappy” customer service. T-Mobile based those claims on ASCI Reports that measure customer satisfaction with cable providers and their call centers, but there was no mention of TVision’s customer service.

The NAD also said that T-Mobile couldn’t use the customer service ratings for its wireless service to show that consumers would be happy with TVision’s customer service.

T-Mobile has agreed to comply with the NAD’s recommendations. “TVision is a relatively new product and its manner of delivery and other features and services available to TVision customers are evolving, as is our advertising for the service. We appreciate NAD’s recognition of this fact,” T-Mobile explained.

TVision launched in April 2019 in eight metro areas: Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Longmont, CO. T-Mo said when TVision launched that it would arrive in more markets later in 2019, but today T-Mobile confirmed to me that those eight markets are where TVision is currently available.

Source: National Advertising Division

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