New York, NY – April 25, 2023 – In a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge brought by Charter Communications, Inc., the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that T-Mobile discontinue or modify the challenged commercial to avoid conveying the implied message that all T-Mobile Home Internet (T-HINT) users will receive fast 5G speeds.
Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited challenge process designed for single-issue advertising cases brought to NAD. NAD determined that the Charter challenge was appropriate for Fast-Track SWIFT because it presented the single issue as to whether T-Mobile’s claim that T-HINT provides the fastest 5G speeds available is supported.
T-HINT operates on the same wireless network that T-Mobile smartphones run on, and thus does not use a wired infrastructure to deliver internet. Customers are provided a gateway device that acts as a router and modem which converts T-Mobile’s signal to WiFi and provides a WiFi signal to devices in the home.
After considering the messages reasonably conveyed by the challenged commercial, NAD determined that, given the context which offers T-HINT as an alternative to fixed wired internet, includes audio that states “don’t worry ‘bout speed” along with a visual of a speedometer that dings when it reaches the highest 5G level of speed, the commercial conveys a message that all T-HINT customers will receive fast 5G wireless speeds.
NAD concluded that the commercial communicates a broad unqualified performance claim that informs consumers that T-HINT provides fast 5G speeds to all of its customers. NAD found that T-Mobile’s evidence does not support that claim and recommended that T-Mobile discontinue or modify the commercial to avoid conveying this implied message.
In its advertiser statement, T-Mobile stated that it “will comply with NAD’s recommendations, but strongly disagrees with NAD’s determination that the challenged commercial communicates an unsubstantiated message.”
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About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.
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