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Comcast XFINITY claims slapped down in ongoing ad battle with Verizon FiOS

Posted by Mitch Lipka  June 12, 2012 10:59 PM

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Is Comcast's XFINITY internet service really the "fastest in the nation?" An advertising review panel says Comcast should stop making the boast.

For one thing, the study that Comcast uses to bolster the claims says its high-speed internet is on par with those offered by Cox and Charter Communications, according to the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. And, perhaps more significantly, the same study says “[i]t’s clear that FiOS’s speed floats Verizon above the rest.”

So, Comcast should temper the claims, by qualifying them that they would have one of the fastest internet speeds in locations in which FiOS is not available.

The advertising panel examined the following claims:

  • “XFINITY is the fastest Internet service provider in the nation according to PC Mag.”
  • “It’s official. We’re the fastest.”
  • “the fastest downloads available.”
  • “FiOS Does Not Live up to Expectations….With Speeds of Up to 105 Mbps, XFINITY was rated as the fastest Internet provider in the nation by PC Magazine.”

The National Advertising Division (NAD) also noted the FiOS's upload and download speeds are far faster than what any of the internet service providers tested could offer, including Comcast. The reason Verizon's service appeared slower in the study is that it co-mingled all the company's internet offerings and didn't separate out FiOS.

"NAD has previously determined that Comcast cannot, based on its current offerings, make an unqualified claim in national advertising to be faster than the competition," the panel said in a news release. "NAD noted that while Comcast is the fastest Internet option for 94 percent of the 52 million households in its competitive footprint, it is not the fastest where FiOS is available."

Comcast was urged to stop making the unqualified claims of being the fastest. Comcast replied to the pane that the company will “take NAD’s recommendations into account in formulating its future advertising.”

This isn't the first time Verizon and Comcast have butted heads over advertising claims.

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About the author

Mitch Lipka is one of America's leading consumer journalists and advocates. He is an expert in product safety, recalls, scams, and helping consumers get out of jams. He is a nationally known consumer columnist and runs TheConsumerChronicle.com. He lives in Worcester. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at ConsumerNews@Aol.com

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