National Advertising Division Recommends Charter Modify Certain Claims for Spectrum Business Wireless Internet Backup

Apr 3, 2024 9:00 AM ET

New York, NY – April 3, 2024 – In a challenge brought by AT&T Services, Inc., BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division recommended that Charter Communications, Inc. modify certain claims for its Spectrum Business Wireless Internet Backup service.

At issue for the National Advertising Division (NAD) was whether the challenged claims, which appeared in a one-minute commercial for Charter’s Spectrum Business, convey a misleading message about the performance and availability of Spectrum’s Business Wireless Internet Backup service.

Backup internet service provides a level of connectivity (approximately 8 hours for up to four devices) and is “reliable” in that it can provide connectivity in an emergency. The service, however, functions as a backup service that does not run indefinitely on all connected devices with the same speeds as regular service.

NAD determined that one reasonable takeaway from Charter’s commercial is that Spectrum Business Wireless Internet Backup service does not simply provide some continuation of service in the event of a power outage but provides the same level of service in a power outage so the business will “never miss a beat.” Further, although NAD concluded that the onscreen disclosure is not sufficiently prominent, it also noted that even a more prominent disclosure of the specific limitations of the backup service may be ineffective in a context that claims, “complete connectivity and reliability” and emphasizes “you never miss a beat.”

Accordingly, to avoid conveying the implied message that Spectrum Business Wireless Internet Backup subscribers’ internet connection will not degrade or slow down during power outages, NAD recommended that Charter modify the claims:

  • Provides “Complete Connectivity & Reliability,”
  • Maintains the same level of connectivity and reliability during a power outage as during normal operating wired conditions, and
  • Is “Made to keep you online even when the power’s off, with the complete connectivity and reliability you get from wireless internet backup.”

In its advertiser statement, Charter stated that it “will comply with NAD’s recommendations with respect to the challenged commercial” although it “disagrees with NAD’s conclusions.”

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive. This press release shall not be used for advertising or promotional purposes.

About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. The National Advertising Division reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.

Contact Information:

Name: Jennie Rosenberg
Email: jrosenberg@bbbnp.org
Job Title: Media Relations