Battle

Charter Communications said that although it “disagrees with NAD’s conclusion,” it will comply with modifications to an advertisement for its Spectrum Business Wireless Internet Backup service suggested by BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division (NAD). The challenge to the ad was brought by AT&T Services.

NAD looked at whether claims made in the one-minute commercial for the service were misleading concerning its performance and availability.

NAD, which is a self-regulatory organization, said that backup internet services generally provide connectivity to four devices for about eight hours, such as during a power outage. In that sense, they are reliable. However, such services are not intended as replacements that run indefinitely on all connected devices and with the same speed as normal service. This is what the ad implies, NAD determined.

The advertisement claims that the Spectrum backup service enables users to “never miss a beat.”  This can be construed as meaning that the service enables business as usual, which is not the goal of a backup service.

NAD found that disclosures were not prominent enough and confusing. NAD “noted that even a more prominent disclosure of the specific limitations of the backup service may be ineffective in a context that claims, ‘complete connectivity and reliability’ and emphasizes ‘you never miss a beat.'” 

NAD suggested that Charter modify three claims about the backup service:

  • Provides “complete connectivity and reliability,”
  • Maintains the same level of connectivity and reliability during a power outage as during normal operating wired conditions, and
  • Is “made to keep you online even when the power’s off, with the complete connectivity and reliability you get from wireless internet backup.”

Charter Communications launched the Wireless Internet Backup for Spectrum Business in 2020 across its 41-state footprint. The service is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses.

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