T-Mobile Claim To "Best Unlimited Network" Deemed Unfounded

The National Advertising Division (NAD) has now advised T-Mobile to stop making claims about having the "Best Unlimited Network,” following complaints leveled against the company by AT&T. The claims in question rested on the fact that the terminology used was simply too broad. Moreover, AT&T asserted that tests of the network's speeds are not enough to support the statements T-Mobile has made in its advertising. The ads themselves stretch across every advertising medium from television to internet and T-Mobile has made the claim in a substantial number of its promotional messages. So this decision could force the carrier to rework its advertising across the board.

As already mentioned, the issue arose because T-Mobile supported its claim solely on the basis of connection speed. That fact is hardly disputable given the number of third-party independent tests which have shown its network to apparently be the fastest. However, NAD appeared to side with AT&T on the basis that the phrasing would need a more general swath of evidence. Namely, it doesn't account for reliability or availability. That's setting aside that NAD doesn't recognize a high threshold for deprioritization as a way to gauge the best overall unlimited network. T-Mobile, for its part, defended its claims by stating that the prioritization customers place on speed over other factors is such that it can determine whether a network is the "best." Effectively, the company argued that speed outweighs either reliability of a network or overall coverage in the minds of consumers. NAD responded that insufficient evidence had been entered to support that claim. As such, the agency held its judgment that the carrier could not realistically claim to have the "Best Unlimited Network."

Conversely, NAD also evaluated another claim put forward by AT&T centered around the other carrier's use of the statement “our 4G LTE coverage has doubled since 2015." NAD determined that statement could not be construed to mean that the carrier's network was superior to the coverage of competing service providers. T-Mobile is said to be planning an appeal to the decision regarding its "Best Unlimited Network" claims with the National Advertising Review Board later this year.

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