Mint Mobile Changes Advertisements After AT&T Challenges Unlimited Claims




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Mint Mobile runs ads offering unlimited prepaid data plans, although that doesn’t appear to be the case when looking at the semantics of its packages. The National Advertising Review Board recently denied the company’s appeal to continue using “Unlimited” in Mint Mobile advertisements.

The challenge to the “Unlimited” and “UNLTD” wording was brought forth by AT&T last year, claiming the terms erroneously lead customers to think 5G and 4G data plans were unlimited and not subject to throttling after reaching data caps.

“Because Mint’s headlines ‘UNLIMITED’ and ‘UNLTD’ describe an unlimited data plan, any disclosure that limits basic data usage on the plan contradicts this message and conflicts with consumer expectations of an unlimited plan,” said the board last December.

The National Advertising Review Board deemed the wording inaccurate “in the way consumers would reasonably understand the term”. Mint Mobile offers 5G and 4G LTE Data Unlimited but after reaching a data cap of 35 GB data speeds are throttled to 2G. 

“The panel noted that it was particularly troubled by the advertisement labeled ‘YOU’VE GOT DATA,’ in which the ‘buckets’ moving from left to right were labeled 4GB, 10GB, 15GB, and, finally, ‘UNLTD,’ which communicated a strong message that the fourth plan provided unlimited data,” said the National Advertising Review Board, as reported by Fierce Wireless.

Mint Mobile isn’t the only prepaid carrier restricted from using the word “Unlimited” in advertisements. AT&T has brought Dish’s Boost Mobile to the attention of the board as well. Boost Mobile’s “Unlimited” 4G LTE plan also throttles speeds after reaching data caps, as does Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile’s “Unlimited” 5G plan. Comcast customers paying for unlimited 5G plans were reduced to 3G after hitting a 20 GB data cap.

Although Mint Mobile includes disclosures about data caps and speed drops, the National Advertising Review Board still ruled the wording inaccurate. The data is unlimited, but the 5G and 4G speeds are not.

Although Mint Mobile disagrees with the ruling the company has agreed to comply. The National Advertising Review Board says the company can still use the term “Unlimited” but not in connection to data speeds. 

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