T-Mobile advised to be careful of using “aspirational” 5G ads

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T-Mobile is currently facing complaints about its ‘aspirational’ ads. 

According to the report, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended the Un-Carrier to make changes to its advertising claims. In particular, it pointed to the claims of imminent availability of promoted benefits to customers that come from the merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. Apparently, AT&T Services, Inc. challenged T-Mobile’s claims of having “the best 5G network”, the “most reliable 5G network”, and the “best prices” for its 5G service. These claims appeared on TV and radio advertisements before they were discontinued in July last year. 

Based on its findings, NAD determined that the advertisements did not convey the promised benefits that will stem from the merger and that these would be available to consumers. Even though T-Mobile made some commitments to the government as part of its merger request, the integration between the networks of T-Mobile and Sprint will not be completed in the next three to six years. 

The agency noted that T-Mobile was unable to support its claims that they have the “Best Network” or will even soon provide “the most reliable 5G network.” T-Mobile was unable to present any evidence on metrics that support its claims in network speed and reliability. As for its “best price” claim, NAD determined that T-Mobile did not provide evidence or commit to maintain its currently low prices in the future. 

Because of this, NAD recommended that T-Mobile modify its challenged advertising claims and avoid using such messages. 

T-Mobile responded to this in its advertiser statement and promised that it “will comply with NAD’s decision… given that the ads in question stopped airing in July 2020.” T-Mobile also released a statement that it “strongly disagrees” with the agency’s view of its “aspirational goals not only as claims requiring substantiation, but as guarantees.”

 

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  • riverhorse

    Can this monkey, bought off NAD point us consumers to who has the best present service overall and most widely, if it doesn’t believe TMo best right now? It’s supposedly looking out for us, so we would like to be helped in choosing the best service.
    I sample all the major carriers while on the road- I’d be the last person to play fanboy and suffer inferior service.

    • Shaun Michalak

      I think it all just depends on where you are at.. I have been places where T-Mobile had great service, and Verizon either had 0 or 1 bar.. But then again, I have been places that were the opposite.. There are places where T-Mobile has service, and the other 2 have none.,. and vise versa.. T-Mobile is good for having gaps in coverage with the whole, “more coverage with less towers” attitude.. But then again, maybe a lot of that will be fixed with their merger with Sprint??

      The problem is, there is no way to know for sure who will always have the best network. and we will not even be able to get a full glimpse at that until T-Mobile gets the full merger done, including the Sprint towers converted over.. and they somewhat get band 41 more fully installed.. and all 3 carriers get SA 5G with VoNR installed. It is a work in progress with all 3 companies right now..

      • riverhorse

        Very true everything you said, and I’m sure there are even areas with zero functional internet or cell service from anyone. I just reamed some dufette on IG for attacking Visible as the worst…for unintelligible phone calls (including for business) on both her and husband’s lines- for exactly your points. Both paid $25, service basically can’t perform its primary function, yet neither will switch.
        I can picture her also pushing her car off the road daily, Wilma Flintstone style.

        Verizon just committed 84B to the latest airwave auction- seems like they and TMo will dominate eventually- feel sorry for at&t.

        From personal experience, seems like with all this upgrading glitches now abound- seeing occasional dropped calls and no data on both Verizon and TMo networks.

        Overall, and off topic, I think Starlink et al will revolutionize population distributions and upend present centers of power if we can all be fully connected wherever we go.

  • James Symmonds

    Currently visiting Seattle, their hometown. The network sucks here! I had better luck back home in KC last year during the Superbowl parade.

    • mreveryphone

      Aye!! KC!

  • marque2

    This BBB board seems rather over the top. Any company that wants to highlight anything “can’t” because some other company with lesser service complains. Seems like a boon to the competition.

    Could you imagine if this happened with cereal or Beer:

    BBB Press release: – Kellogg’s company should no longer use Tony the tiger’s key phrase “They’re Great” in regards to frosted flakes because of noted issues with the product. These include many not having a preference for frosted flakes, and there are are concerns about the added sugar content, therefore the pronouncement “They are great” is misleading to the consumer, since they are not universally great and should be stopped.

    • TheTruthIsOutThere

      Kellog’s is also great with their factory ammonia spill in San Jose.

      • marque2

        IIIIIIIIt’s Great!

    • Shaun Michalak

      Well, what about spectrum’s advertisements.. The fastest starting speeds for the price.. VNet here has starting speeds of 300mb up and down for $60.. Spectrum’s current price is $70 for 100 down, 10 up.. $5 more if you want wireless.

  • Jason Caprio

    The difference between the way Verizon and T-Mobile market.

    T-Mobile: We’re going to have the best network
    Verizon: We currently have the best network

    For years, T-Mobile has telling us how amazing their future will be, and how they’re doing upgrades, etc. Verizon usually doesn’t say a word until the product is fully operational and rolled out.

    Bottom line. It’s false advertising to promote a potential future product’s functionality rather than promote what is currently available.

    • marque2

      I take issue with your complaint. They exceeded the reliability of Sprint and AT&T several years ago, and in several metrics are on par with Verizon. I think I will report you to the BBB for not making fully substantiated claims.

    • Shaun Michalak

      I can not really agree with that.. When T-Mobile posted that, the add stopped airing in July of last year.. Almost a year ago.. Verizon only had mmWave installed at that time.. So yea, they could say, “most reliable nationwide network” or “Have the best nationwide 5G network”, because Verizon did not have any at that time..

      T-Mobile worked within the details.. They never stated that they “had” a reliable 5G network, or the fastest speeds on a 5G network.. They would say things like, We have the “largest”, or most reliable nationwide 5G network (which if course, if you are the only one with it, then it has to be the most reliable)..

      I personally find it ironic that Verizon has ZERO standalone 5G, no VoNR, and no dedicated spectrum for midband 5G, and no high speeds (better then current 4G speeds) off of midband, which T-Mobile has all 4, yet Verizon is the one saying “5G done right”. Granted, T-Mobile only has all 4 where they have band 41 installed.. But still, they do have it in certain areas..

      Looking at it that way, is Verizon really any better?? Looking outside of mmWave, how is Verizons 5G service beating T-Mobile in any area where T-Mobile has 5G fully installed with band 41 too?