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Unlimited has its limitations

BT gets ASA slap but Telewest also has limits

Cable firm and telco Telewest Broadband has slammed BT's claims that its unlimited talk package was unlimited, but it now looks as though Telewest may also be bending the truth.

The Advertising Standards Agency lambasted BT on Wednesday over its direct mail advertising campaign that claimed to offer 'unlimited free calls'. In actuality, free calls were only allowed at evenings and weekends.

"BT obviously doesn't know the meaning of the word. In our book unlimited means just that," said David Hobday, sales and marketing director at Telewest Broadband.

Not only were BT's calls limited to evenings and weekends, customers were also charged after being on the phone for more than an hour.

ASA up held the complaint against BT as its advertising was misleading.

But Telewest's talk unlimited package also seems to contain limitations.

The £25-a-month package is only unlimited providing callers don't make non-UK, mobile, international, premium rate or internet calls, which are all charged at standard rate.

"Our advertising clearly states that our package is unlimited for local and national rate calls, BT's did not and that's the crucial difference," said Telewest's Rachel Turner.

"It is essential companies make these terms clear, if they do not want to face ASA. What is important is that customers understand what they are getting and in BT's case, they obviously did not. Unlimited must be clearly explained," said a spokesman at Oftel.

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