NAD recommends that T-Mobile stop calling itself "Best Unlimited Network" in ads



Back in February, we told you that AT&T had filed a complaint against fellow carrier T-Mobile with the National Advertising Division (NAD). The latter is administrated by the Better Business Bureau and is "an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation." AT&T was unhappy with some claims that T-Mobile made in some of its advertisements, and today the NAD recommended that T-Mobile stop calling itself the "Best Unlimited Network."

The NAD checked out claims made by T-Mobile in its ads including "T-Mobile is America’s Best Unlimited Network;" "Video typically streams at 480p. On all T-Mobile plans, if congested, top 3% of data users (>32 GB/mo.) may notice reduced speeds due to prioritization. Does not depict coverage;" and "Welcome to America’s best unlimited network." Also examined was whether that last statement was implying that T-Mobile has the best overall network or best coverage.

In its defense, T-Mobile provided data from Ookla's Speedtest intelligence database and OpenSignal. The data, according to T-Mobile, was the proof it needed to make its claims. For example, for the third quarter of last year, the data from Ookla showed T-Mobile to have the fastest LTE download and upload speeds in the U.S.. And OpenSignal's second 2017 report showed T-Mobile on top for 4G and 3G Download Speed, Overall Download Speed, 3G Latency and Availability. AT&T was first in 4G Latency, beating out T-Mobile by 1.45 milliseconds. Both Ookla and OpenSignal use crowdsourced data obtained through an app installed by smartphone users.

The NAD said that T-Mobile did not provide evidence that it has a superior network in terms of talk and text, and that it offers a more reliable service and greater coverage. T-Mobile responded by saying that consumers consider "The Best Unlimited Network" to be the one with the fastest data speed. And the NAD returned the volley by saying that there is no evidence from T-Mobile that consumers consider speed over reliability and coverage when deciding which provider to subscribe to.


With all of this in mind, the NAD made its recommendation, which of course upset T-Mobile. The carrier plans to appeal the recommendation to the National Advertising Review Board. 

While we don't know all of the T-Mobile ads that AT&T objected to, we do know that one of them was the Claymation ad from the 2017 holiday season. If you haven't seen it yet, or if you want to view it again, simply click on the video at the top of this story.

source: ASRC

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9 Comments

1. BuffaloSouce unregistered

Here in Arizona, T-Mobile is straight up buns even in the bigger cities like Tucson and Phoenix. Sprints coverage is better but not by much. It doesn’t help them either by having the soldiers on the military base not being able to get a bar of signal unless they have ATT or Verizon

5. iPhoneFanboy

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 21, 2018

I mean so is Verizon, at least when I went to Arizona in 2016.... signal was trash.

2. sissy246

Posts: 7083; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

T-Mobile sucks a$$ here also. A friend of mine has no signal at my house with T-Mobile and I have every bar with AT&T.

3. zennacko unregistered

They can just say "The best inexpensive network that uses its own towers and runs its mouth whenever they can so any regulatory agency AND the competition can suck it." Drop the Mic.

4. RoryBreaker

Posts: 208; Member since: Oct 11, 2015

In the major cities that I travel to, T-Mobile is usually fast & reliable. I'm sure it won't be too long before most cities experience the same.

6. youlookfoolish

Posts: 193; Member since: Dec 14, 2012

Reach and reliability over speed. Still a fact of life which T-Mobile cannot fathom.

7. fyah_king unregistered

Mine works great!!

8. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

It sounds like the NAD is stating that you can't make a statement based on opinion but lets be honest and speak to the facts. Fact is T-Mobile doesn't have the "best" coverage nationwide. Crowd source funded apps are subject to flawed data points and can be misleading. When speaking to "Best Unlimited Network" what your really saying is, we let you use the most data before you get throttled. At the end of the day the NAD is telling T-Mobile to stop with the games and be more straight forward. However don't all wireless carriers do this anyway. I have been a T-Mobile customer since 2013 and personally have had a very positive experience. I live in a major city however and thus have not had a need for coverage in the middle of lets say Kansas. T-Mobile has also been there for me when my finances were tight. I have to say I enjoy the service. I also worked for Verizon Wireless back in 2007 and understand carrier lingo. I know John Legere is blowing alot of smoke in terms of his advertising game. He's a marketing genius.

9. mdolphins9998

Posts: 17; Member since: Sep 19, 2012

You have said everything that I was going to say, so I agree 100% with you !!!

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