In Fast-Track SWIFT Case, National Advertising Division Recommends Advertiser Claims be Modified or Discontinued

For Immediate Release
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org

New York, NY – September 6, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that Visible Services LLC, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications, Inc., modify or discontinue pricing claims associated with its prepaid wireless service plan.    

T-Mobile US, Inc., a rival wireless carrier, had challenged Visible’s claims through NAD Fast-Track SWIFT, an expedited NAD challenge process designed for single-issue advertising cases.

Visible offers mobile wireless service on the Verizon network with unlimited talk, text, and data to consumers for a prepaid monthly price. For a single line of Visible service, the standard monthly price is $40 per month after the first month of service. After the first month, however, consumers can receive an ongoing additional “Party Pay” price discount for up to $15 per month by joining a group (or Party) of other Visible subscribers, which reduces the consumer’s monthly price for a single line of Visible wireless service to as low as $25 a month. A Party can consist of any Visible subscribers and does not need to be the consumer’s family or friends.   

T-Mobile challenged pricing claims made by Visible in a television commercial and several online and social media advertisements. NAD determined that the claim that a consumer can obtain a “single line” for as low as $25 per month with “no family needed” refers expressly to a “single” line and tells consumers that no group membership is required. However, to receive the advertised monthly Party Pay discount the consumer must join or form a Party of other Visible subscribers through the Party Pay program.

Therefore, NAD recommended that Visible discontinue the challenged pricing claim or modify it to:

  • Either include in the main claim the condition that a consumer must join a Party through the Party Pay program to receive the monthly discount upon which the $25 advertised monthly price is based; or
  • Discontinue the claim “single line” and disclose clearly and conspicuously and in close proximity to the pricing claim that joining or forming a Party of other Visible subscribers through the Party Pay program is a condition of obtaining the advertised monthly price for a single line of wireless service. 

 

NAD noted that nothing in its decision precludes Visible from making truthful and non-misleading claims comparing the Visible plan with Party Pay to family plans or other competing wireless service plans.

Visible argued that the challenge was not appropriate for a Fast-Track proceeding, however, NAD determined that the challenge was appropriate for Fast Track SWIFT because it presented a single issue relating to the accurate expression of Visible’s pricing claims about the monthly price and related terms at which a consumer can obtain a single line of wireless service from Visible.

In its advertiser statement, Visible stated that it “will comply” and that “future advertising will take NAD’s recommendations into consideration.” 

Advertisers are encouraged to learn more about the NAD Fast-Track SWIFT challenge process and how to file a challenge. All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive


 

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