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Lycamobile ad 'misled' customers over cost of SIM-only deal

Thursday, September 21st 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

An ad for Lycamobile has been banned for not making it clear how much customers would have to pay for a SIM-only deal.

On its website, the international call provider advertised its UK Ultra Plan as offering 15GB of data plus unlimited UK minutes and texts.

It said the 30-day rolling contract was “£12 when you buy a new SIM with plan online” but a customer complained after finding out the deal was only £12 for the first 30 days and £25 thereafter.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said Lycamobile should have made it clear that the offer price only applied for the first 30 days.

It also said the ad did not link directly to an explanation that the £25 price, which appeared in the ad but was crossed through, would apply for subsequent 30-day periods.

Lycamobile said customers could choose to renew the plan each month or not and were not tied into a contract for a set period of time.

The ASA said the ad was likely to mislead customers and the ad should not appear again in its current form.

In June, the ASA told new mobile provider 1pMobile to stop saying it had the UK’s cheapest pre-pay tariff.

The company charges pay as you go customers 1p per minute to UK landlines, 1p per text to UK mobiles and 1p per MB of data – and claimed it was the most flexible UK mobile service as a £5 a top-up could be used for any combination of calls, texts and data.

But the ASA said customers could buy a £10 top-up from other providers offering unlimited texts, potentially working out cheaper on a pro-rata basis.

The regulator also said it couldn’t verify comparisons made by 1pMobile as the provider was using prices taken two or three months apart.

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