National Advertising Review Board Recommends Boost Mobile Discontinue “Unlimited Data” Claim for 4G LTE Data Plans
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New York, NY – June 16, 2021 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate advertising law body of BBB National Programs, has recommended that Boost Mobile discontinue the claim “unlimited data” for its “Go Unlimited” data plans based on its determination that Boost Mobile failed to provide proper support for the use of the “unlimited data” claim as reasonable consumers understand that term.
The advertising at issue, along with certain other claims for Boost Mobile’s “Go Unlimited” plans, had been challenged by AT&T Services, Inc. before the National Advertising Division (NAD). Following NAD’s decision (Case No. 6882), Boost Mobile appealed NAD’s recommendation that its “unlimited data” claim be discontinued.
In the challenged advertisement, Boost Mobile promotes a "Go Unlimited" plan with 35 GB of 4G LTE data, followed by unlimited 2G data. These plans are reduced, or “throttled” from 4G LTE to 2G data speeds for the remainder of the month after the customer reaches the monthly data cap. The advertisement ends with the following statement, “After monthly data allotment is exceeded, you will be reduced to 2G data speeds for the remainder of the month.”
The NARB panel concluded that throttling to 2G makes standard data operations virtually unusable, in contrast with consumer expectations about how the availability of “unlimited data” enables them to use their phones. Under these circumstances, the panel determined that no level of additional disclosure would justify the use of “unlimited data” to describe the Boost Mobile “Go Unlimited” plans. Thus, the panel adopted NAD’s recommendation that the “unlimited data” claim be discontinued.
Boost Mobile stated that it “supports the self-regulatory process and will comply with NARB’s decision, although it disagrees with the Panel’s conclusions.”
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Review Board (NARB): The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) is the appellate body for BBB National Programs’ advertising self-regulatory programs. NARB’s panel members include 87 distinguished volunteer professionals from the national advertising industry, agencies, and public members, such as academics and former members of the public sector. NARB serves as a layer of independent industry peer review that helps engender trust and compliance in NAD, CARU, and DSSRC matters.