Ad description

A leaflet for a Citylink coach service between Stansted Airport and London King's Cross St Pancras, seen towards the end of September 2016, stated "Free Wi-Fi".


The complainant, who said they received limited WiFi access during their journey, challenged whether the claim “Free Wi-Fi” was misleading.


Braddell Ltd t/a Stansted Citylink said their fleet of coaches provided free, unlimited WiFi with a download speed of 512 kbits/s and upload speeds of 256 kibts/s, accessible once passengers provided an email address to register with the service.

Stansted Citylink said the maximum amount of time passengers could access the WiFi for was two hours, which was in excess of the scheduled journey time of one hour and 15 minutes.

They added that road and weather condition could affect the availability of Wi-Fi and a helpline number was available if passengers had problems accessing it.


Not upheld

The ASA considered that consumers would interpret the offer of free WiFi to mean that WiFi would be accessible throughout their journey but that, because the WiFi was accessed on the move, the quality of the service might falter or drop out from time to time.

The WiFi was free to those who registered, was provided for a sufficient time to cover the journey from Stansted to King’s Cross St Pancras and was unlimited for that period.

While we acknowledged that the complainant had experienced an intermittent service, because we considered that consumers would be aware of the potential for the service to be interrupted during their journey, we considered that the “Free Wi-Fi” claim was unlikely to mislead.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules  3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.  and  3.3 3.3 Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that the consumer needs to make informed decisions in relation to a product. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead the consumer depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the marketing communication is constrained by time or space, the measures that the marketer takes to make that information available to the consumer by other means.
 (Misleading advertising), and  3.9 3.9 Marketing communications must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify.  and  3.10 3.10 Qualifications must be presented clearly.
CAP has published a Help Note on Claims that Require Qualification.
 (Qualification), but did not find it in breach.


No further action necessary.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

3.1     3.10     3.3     3.9    

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